Tag Archives: Ring of Honor

The Broken Matt Hardy Saga Continues To Be One Of The Best Things In Professional Wrestling


      Earlier this year, Matt Hardy turned heel, winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Ethan Carter III in January. What started as a subtle, typical pro-wrestling story, evolved into an ever expanding universe of strange weirdness. After being injured (in kayfabe) by his brother Jeff in an I Quit Match soon after claiming the title, Matt was taken to the hospital. When Matt returned in May he at first was merely a Willow imposter, attacking Jeff from behind. This would crescendo into Matt Hardy becoming “broken” at the hands of his brother, and giving wrestling fans some of the most delightfully bizarre television we have ever seen.

      As we reported back in July, the Broken Matt Hardy angle was one of the best things TNA has ever done. Period. Matt crept out of the gate with an odd accent and a white streak in his hair. It was weird and not well received by fans as they questioned just what in the hell Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan were thinking, or if they even were. But where WWE might have cut their losses and abandoned the gimmick, TNA battened down the hatches and ran with it, refusing to give up on Matt’s creation until it was completely exhausted. And things at TNA have been all the better because of it. Matt continued to groom and nurture the Broken gimmick, battling Jeff in every possible way until finally defeating him at his Cameron, North Carolina home in what was called The Final Deletion and awarded Broken Matt with the sole custodianship of “the Hardy Brand.”

      The Final Deletion was glorious and that was even after the previous weeks featuring vignettes, Full Metal Mayhem,  and Six Sides of Steel in the Impact Zone. It featured an outdoor match with a ring in the middle of the forest, Tiki-torches, fireworks (being shot at human beings) and things being set on fire. What we assumed was the apex of the entire Broken Matt Hardy saga, ended up being just the beginning! Soon after, Brother Nero became Obsolete Jeff. Then in an amazing twist, Matt caused Jeff to snap and now he too was broken!

      Jeff began to come out to a new obsolete theme song, wearing solid white contact lenses and giving up his bread-and-butter “spotfest monkey” moves that were his claim to fame throughout his career. All the while, Broken Matt Hardy refined his gimmick coming up with new and clever accents, vignettes, and pre-taped video packages that helped strengthen and solidify TNA’s ratings. Every time it seems like the Broken Matt Hardy angle has worn out its welcome, he surprises everyone with something even more over the top and hilarious than he has ever done before.

      Matt was recently on the Talk is Jericho podcast and said it was important for Impact Wrestling to find their own way and identity, claiming: “My broken universe is something different that has never been seen anywhere else before.” Even going so far as to say Vince McMahon would be scared of it and would never let Matt attempt it. He certainly has caught the attention of everyone across the pro-wrestling landscape, including Bray Wyatt. It’s now rumored that WWE is interested in signing Matt once his TNA contract is up in February. But why would he want to leave? TNA’s ratings are strong and he would never have this level of creative freedom on Monday Night Raw.

      It just goes to show that if you commit to a concept and give everything you have towards it, people will embrace it. One could argue that Matt and Jeff are in the twilight of their careers and might be close to retirement. But then along comes this Broken Matt Hardy idea and they are now the most talked about segment, not just on Thursday nights but in all of pro-wrestling. Matt has to be commended for putting his entire being into this role, come hell or high water, and really helping to single-handedly put TNA back on the map. There’s even rumors of WWE buying them out now.

      Featuring self-aware drones, mischievous gardeners, explosions, divine mystical beings in the lakes and woods, under water costume changes, pool fights, child abduction, a car-jacking, and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink, Matt Hardy’s Broken Saga has been truly groundbreaking.  With even Billy Corgan teasing that perhaps this will all culminate with a Broken Matt Hardy movie. With Delete or Decay coming up at Bound For Glory, TNA has a real chance to continue building on the non-stop train that is Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy. If they can somehow defeat Decay and become Impact Wrestling’s Tag Team Champions, the story will once again evolve in another direction and give us yet another reason to tune into TNA’s product.

      Tonight is the final show before Bound For Glory. Be sure to tune into #ImpactOnPOP and see what new antics Broken Matt has for us as we head into this weekend’s pay-per-view. And be sure to check out our friends over at the King of the Mountain podcast for complete TNA coverage.

Article by Jamie Curtis Bakerfotoflexer_photo

Is Vince McMahon Considering Acquisition of TNA Impact Wrestling?

HOUSTON - APRIL 04:  WWE Chairman Vince McMahon inducts Stone Cold Steve Austin into the WWE Hall of Fame at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania's WWE Hall of Fame at the Toyota Center on April 4, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/WireImage)

      Forbes reported earlier today that among the potential buyers of TNA’s Impact Wrestling (to include Billy Corgan and Sinclair Broadcasting) WWE has shown interest in purchasing the company, not to keep it afloat but mainly for its library of footage.

      This wouldn’t be another WCW Invasion storyline. Vince would buy out TNA, bury it and then add their footage to the WWE Network. He wouldn’t be buying TNA to help keep it on the air. So don’t expect any last minute saves, here. If Sinclair Broadcasting could purchase it, that could be very interesting as they own Ring of Honor and if the two promotions could somehow merge and get a bigger TV deal, now we’re talking genuine competition with WWE and incentive to sign new independent wrestlers. Not really sure about Billy Corgan’s net worth, but it would seem unlikely The Smashing Pumpkins album sales gave him a fat enough bank account to make any significant bid or company restructuring.

      As always, any rumor pitted towards TNA needs to be taken with a grain of salt as the roller coaster speculation reaches every end of the spectrum. Disgruntled former employees say TNA is always two seconds from going bust and owe them buckets of money. Current employees say there are no problems and they get their paychecks on time and love working there. It seems every ‘smart-mark’ with a webpage has an opinion for either side or claims to hold some secret “insider knowledge” for a company they have never worked for. Nobody really knows what is going on financially backstage with TNA except their own people. Yes, we’re calling you out Dave Metlzer.

      It’s hard to take any seriousness with the idea of TNA being moments away from bankruptcy when they keep signing talent like Moose, Aron Rex, and Cody (he of the Rhodes fame); plus the addition of a completely new title belt and keeping a major name like Bobby Lashley on the roster when his talents could easily be utilized elsewhere. The loyalty of Ethan Carter III, Drew Galloway, and The Hardy’s suggests that things aren’t as bad as people make them out to be. I mean, these guys aren’t working for free. It’s hard to tell the difference between the real truth, glorified exaggerations, and flat out lies.

      That being said, TNA’s ratings do remain fairly strong, especially in comparison to Ring of Honor or Lucha Underground. They are far and wide WWE’s biggest direct competition. And considering the amount of former TNA talent WWE keeps signing, it can be said for certain that Vince McMahon or at least his front office keeps an eye on all things TNA. Impact Wrestling isn’t a bad product. In fact, some weeks it puts out a better show than either Raw or Smackdown. They have talent, their ratings aren’t in decline, and they have the balls to let Creative take risks. All and all that makes for something I really like to watch. Face To Heel definitely hopes TNA doesn’t fold, go under, or worse: become yet another causality in the ego-driven empire of Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

      There is a place in pro-wrestling for TNA, their staff, writing and especially their roster. They are a great company that unfortunately has made some poor decisions over the years. For all intents and purposes, 2016 seems to be the year they have been trying to really right the ship and seek their own identity. We just have to hope it’s not too little, too late.

Article by Jamie Curtis Bakerfotoflexer_photo

Alberto Del Rio Calling It Quits With WWE


      As we’ve covered, Alberto Del Rio is currently serving his first 30 day suspension, along with girlfriend Paige, due to a violation of WWE’s wellness policy. His name was pulled from all upcoming live events earlier today, including events that come when his suspension is over. This evening, Del Rio opted out of his contract and is done with WWE for good.

      On August 7, 2014, Del Rio was fired from WWE due to unprofessional conduct. This came from an altercation with an employee who allegedly made a racist joke either to or around Del Rio, causing him to act inappropriately. Following his departure, he went to wrestle for Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion, The World Wrestling Council, Wrestle-1, Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore VII show, the World Wrestling League, Ring of Honor, and Lucha Underground under the name Alberto El Patron.

      Del Rio made his return to WWE at the Hell In A Cell PPV in 2015 with Zeb Colter as his manager, where he defeated John Cena for the United States Championship. This began the strange MexAmerica storyline. In November, Del Rio joined the League Of Nations, aligning with Sheamus, Wade Barrett and Rusev. The League disbanded in April of this year, and since then, Del Rio has not been involved in a significant storyline.

      Del Rio said in an interview that he has three to five years of wrestling left in him and he hoped that they would be spent with WWE, but bad booking and his unhappiness with his girlfriend drafted to a different brand may have been the final nails in the coffin. It’s likely he will continue to wrestle under the El Patron name, and we will post updates on his bookings as they become available.

Article by Mrs Jamie BakerIMG_20140926_193145


F2H Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up August 14th – 21st 2016

Wrestling Wrap Up

      This article is going to be a long one. So much happened in pro-wrestling this week! We’ll start with the rumors and news first. TNA Impact Wrestling original, The Cowboy, James Storm reportedly is unhappy with his place in the company. He’s been seemingly agitated because all his friends are leaving for greener pastures and he’s stuck dealing with Dixie Carter and company. We reported earlier this week that he might be leaving TNA in the very near future.

      –WWE saw the suspension of three of its Superstars during this past week. All Red Everything, Eva Marie, was suspended after reportedly testing positive for Adderall, a controlled susbtance used for the treatment of ADHD. WWE also suspended Alberto Del Rio and Paige for both testing positive for different substances after a night of partying. Our article on that suspension can be read HERE.

      –Monday Night Raw kicked off the week, with their go-home programming. It was uneventful to say the least and really didn’t help garner excitement for SummerSlam. Most notably, it completely burned Finn Balor’s Demon King entrance on a free show instead of waiting for Sunday. Brock Lesnar got an interesting opponent, but otherwise, rough night. Check out our full review HERE.

      –Tuesday’s Smackdown Live didn’t go much better. Featuring 12-man tag match that would happen again at SummerSlam. Eva Marie failed to wrestle, again. And John Cena takes on Alberto Del Rio for about the 500th time. Check out the full review HERE.

      –As usual, business really picked up on Wednesday as NXT set the stage for Takeover: Brooklyn 2. Hideo Itami was in action, as well as six women in tag action. Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura sat down backstage in an interview with William Regal. Our article about the episode can be read HERE.

      –The second round of the Cruiserweight Classic continued afterwards with another set of amazing matches. Japan’s Akira Tozawa took on England’s Jack Gallagher in one of the best bouts of the tournament so far. Later, Brian Kendrick and Tony Nese (both from the United States) put on an absolute clinic wrestling match. It had it all; brutality, story-telling, cheating, heel work, high-fly moves, and everything in between. Read all about it HERE.

      –Dixe Carter gave us yet another excellent TNA Impact Wrestling broadcast on Thursday. We saw an Ascension to Hell tag team ladder match. Moose and Eddie Edwards went one on one. Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway got a surprise guest ref. And Billy Corgan suspended somebody! Check out all the action right over HERE.

      –Friday night was jam packed with NJPW action. AXSTV gave us a new episode which you can read about right HERE. That same night, Ring of Honor presented Death Before Dishonor XIV, featuring their own roster taking on NJPW legends in what was an epic start to the weekend. Jay Lethal put his title on the line against Adam Cole, Dalton Castle went toe-to-toe with Kazuchika Okada, and The Briscoes each gave us an epic battle in singles competition. It was one for the record books and was a wonderful show. Read all about it HERE.

      –The WWE Network gave us NXT Takeover: Brooklyn II on Saturday night, and the atmosphere was electrified. No Way Jose took on Austin Aries, the mysterious Ember Moon had her long-awaited debut, Bobby Roode took on  Andrade “Cien” Almas, Bayley tried to become the first 2-time NXT Women’s Champion, and Samoa Joe put his gold on the line against Shinsuke Nakamura in an epic slugfest. This one had it all, and if you missed it, that’s a shame. Read the full results and our review HERE.

      –SummerSlam rounded out the week of programming, it what was billed as a six hour event. The preshow started at five and that had three matches before the actual pay-per-view even got started. Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton went to war, as did John Cena and AJ Styles. Seth Rollins and Finn Balor battled to be the first WWE Universal Champion. And Dean Ambrose defended his belt against Dolph Ziggler. We also saw several tag matches, and Sasha Banks taking on Charlotte. Unfortunately, for my $9.99 it just wasn’t enough and the whole program felt flat. Read ever match results as well as feedback for the entire show HERE.

      That’s it for last week. Tune in tonight as we live tweet Monday Night Raw and post our feedback for that as well. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite show, match, and moment of the past week was in the comments below. Have a good day, wrestling fans!

      Please click our Go Fund Me page and donate if you can. Help spread the word to give a boost to my wife and me. Thank you!

Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


Death Before Dishonor XIV Full Results and Feedback


      It’s not often that the F2H family gets to cover Ring of Honor. Unfortunately, our cable provider doesn’t air their regular broadcast. So we really only ever get to “stream” the pay-per-views. We do, however, cover New Japan Pro Wrestling. And tonight that world famous organization clashes with the ROH all stars to bring us one epic night from Las Vegas!

      We start things off with Kamaitachi vs Jay White vs Donovan Dijak (accompanied by Prince Nana) vs Lio Rush in a four-way to determine the #1 Contender for the Ring of Honor Television Championship. Rush and White clear the ring and go after each other with lots of speedy, high-flying moves. This one is hard to follow as there is one fight going on outside the ring and another inside the ring, and at the same time it’s supposed to be a tag match. Weird booking. But the action is fun and there isn’t a dull moment. Jay White takes control of the match with European uppercuts to all his competitors. Lio Rush is fast as hell and he’s taking down guys left and right! Can barely keep up with this one. Some really amazing moves from all four guys. The crowd is in a frenzy. Dijak does a corkscrew senton off the top rope to take down all three guys outside the ring. That big man can get up! Dijak hits Feast Your Eyes finisher on Lio Rush and becomes the #1 Contender to the TV title. That was a thrilling match to kick off the show. Great job to all four guys. Wow!

      “The Last Real Man,” Silas Young comes out next to take on NJPW royalty in Katsuyori Shibata. Crowd starts a Shibata chant as soon as he hits the ring. Strong grappling to start this one. Shibata gets Young against the ropes and they break apart. Slingshot over the top rope and Young takes Shibata down. Really great technical style hoss match. Big, powerful moves and skilled action. These guys came to play. Shibata is always a pleasure to watch. Moonsault by Young and he covers, the ref counts three but Shibata leans up and the ref says it was only two. Young cusses the ref out, but keeps fighting. Rear naked choke by Shibata then a Penalty Kick by Shibata into a cover for the win. Spotty finish, mostly because the ref fucked up. But overall another entertaining battle. After the match, the two slap each other and then shake hands. Crowd applauds.

      Bullet Club vs Chaos in a 6-man tag up next. Don’t know a lot about the six guys in this match, or even their names. But the match overall is a fun spot-fest that fires the crowd up. The turnbuckle pad is used as a weapon at one point and this whole thing breaks down into utter madness as all six men get in the ring to brawl. Chaos wins this one, but after The Bullet Club just beats the hell out of them. Hangman Page comes down and starts putting the noose on Tama Tonga’s neck. Jay Briscoe runs in to save the day. Briscoe and Page square off, a new ref comes out and this match is underway! No holds barred!

      Briscoe and Page grab chairs and whack them together. Full on fist shots by Briscoe as Page is on the mat. Briscoe flies into the crowd as he topples Page into the barricade. Crowd starts a “Man Up!” chant. Briscoe suplexes Page on the ramp. Back in the ring Briscoe uses Hangman’s noose and wraps it around Page’s neck. But Page recovers and throws a steel chair in Jay’s face. Page’s turn to use the noose as he chokes Briscoe against the ropes. Ref can’t do anything here, as we have no rules! Submission hold hanging off the rope as Briscoe is being choked by the noose. Outside the ring, Page powerbombs Briscoe into a chair. He uses the noose to tie up Briscoe’s hands on the barricade. Page grabs a chair, kicks Jay in the head, and hits him with the chair. Then spits on him. Page searches under the ring, and pulls out a table. Page sets Briscoe up on the ring apron, lifts him, but fails. Briscoe blocks it and falls into the ring. Page grabs another chair. The two trade blows in the ring and Briscoe flips Page onto the chair as it lays flat on the mat. Page spits right in Briscoe’s eyes. Neckbreaker by an enraged Briscoe. He picks up the chair. He puts the chair over Page’s throat and kicks the bottom of it, then hits a spinning neckbreaker. Crowd erupts. Jay sets the chair up in the corner through the second and third ropes. He puts Page’s face against it and then wraps the noose around his neck. He ties the noose around the top rope. He runs and leaps into Page, once. Twice. And a third time as the crowd chants “One More Time!” Huge clothesline into a two count, but Page kicks out. Briscoe tries to use the table, but Page moves and nothing happens.

      Page puts the noose around Briscoe’s neck and tries to hang him off the rope but Briscoe blocks it. Page drops him outside the ring. Page tries a flip off the apron but catches a big boot right to the face. Crowd explodes. He rolls Page up onto the apron and sets him up for a powerbomb into the setup table. But Page blocks it and slams Briscoe head first into the table. Page lands badly though, and gashes his knee open pretty badly. It starts running blood down his leg. Something white is sticking out of it. Briscoe’s back is bleeding. They roll into the ring and Page tries a pin but Jay barely kicks out. Page wraps the noose around his neck and tries to choke out Briscoe. His face turns red as blood oozes down his back. Crowd starts another “Man Up!” chant. Right of Passage finisher by Hangman Page. He covers and that’s all she wrote! Page defeats Briscoe. Goodness! What a match! One of the best things I’ve seen all week in the world of pro-wrestling.

      Dalton Castle peacocks to the ring to take on “The Rainmaker,” Kazuchika Okada, in another NJPW and ROH square off. Let the streamers fly! Okada is the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion, so this is a huge match for Dalton Castle’s career. Win or lose, he’s got to bring it. Crowd is hyped for both competitors as they enter the ring. Split chant from the crowd before the bell rings. First ever matchup between these two, and both shake hands before they begin. Respect from both as the match starts slow, with both feeling out the other. Crowd continues chanting for them both. Clever back and forth at the start, setting up a good story in the ring. Okada hits a big move and Dalton’s Boys come up on the apron to fan him off, showing their own fangirl appreciation. Ha! Running knee on the apron and Castle takes over. Okada falls to the floor outside the ring. Slow grind for a few moments as Castle puts on some holds down on the ring mat. Castle did a Hurricanrana to throw Okada out of the ring. Back in the ring, Okada kicks out at two but then takes a toss by Castle, who has really taken control of this match. Castle suplexes into a bridge and pins Okada. Narrow kick out at two and a half.

      The Boys get in the ring to interfere but Okada stops them. He leaps off the top rope and drops an elbow on a prone Castle. Castle pops up and spins Okada around on his shoulder, hits Bangarang and goes for a cover, but Okada rolls out of the ring. Ref starts a ten count. Castle comes out, stopping the count. He pushes Okada into the ring. Suplex on Okada, another two count. Okada hits a Tombstone Piledriver on Castle and then sets him up for the Rainmaker. One. Two. Three. And that’s the ball game. Okada wins in a really exceptional match. Dalton Castle came into his own skin and this one was just another great bout on what has been an off the charts match card so far tonight.

      The Television Championship title is on the line next as Mark Briscoe challenges Bobby Fish. Grappling into ground work submission to start. Then see-saw strike trading. The pace is slow, but they are trying to do something here. The animosity is palpable. A fantastic running reverse neckbreaker by Briscoe off the arpon. Then he slams Fish back first onto the apron. Off the apron again, Briscoe drops a running elbow on Fish. Back in the ring, Fish takes control working Briscoe’s back and leg. Briscoe fights back and tries a pinfall. His back is hurting him and his offense has been hindered. Fish gets him up and down with a double knee shot. The story told throughout this one is great. It was easy to get emotionally invested. Powerbomb by Briscoe, and he takes to the tap rope. He drops a frog-splash elbow on Fish. Narrow kick out and the crowd can’t believe it. The two trade blows on the top rope and Briscoe takes a hard suplex on his neck. Fish tosses him into the corner and suplexes him down for the count. Three seconds later and Fish retains. Now that was an old school type of wrestling match. Really loved that one. No hard feelings afterward as both men shake hands in the ring. All love and respect. The crowd just got a real treat with these two.

      Triple threat tag team match for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship up next. Tetsuya Naito and Evil vs Michael Eglin and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs the current champs The Addiction. Glad for this match as the introduction of all three teams is long and drawn out so I finally get a break to grab a beer and take a piss. This has been non-stop action all night. I’m exhausted! Naito and Tanahashi start the match off. But its short lived as Christopher Daniels tags himself in on Tanahashi. Naito plays mind games and then hip-tosses Daniels out of the ring. Naito tags in Evil and they double team Daniels. Eglin and Kazarian tag in. The Addiction take over the match and isolate Tanahashi in their corner. Naito tags himself in and then he and Evil double team Tanahashi. Then Naito and Evil go after The Addiction. We lose track of who the two legal men are. Kazarian and Eglin are, apparently. Eglin wallops Kazarian in the corner. Eglin double suplexes The Addiction! All hell breaks loose with people diving out of the ring and guys being thrown into the barricades. Crowd is eating it up. The action is incredible. The ref gets distracted and Daniels accidentally clocks Kazarian with the title belt. Tanahashi hits a Slingblade on Evil. Tanahashi goes for a High Fly Flow, Daniels tags himself in unbeknownst to Tanahashi, who lands on Evil. Daniels runs in and covers both, as the legal man and The Addiction retains! Clever finish! I liked that alot.

      The Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Championship is on the line next as Adam Cole challenges Jay Lethal in a match that has been many months in the making. Lethal goes to work early, with some huge chops in the corners. Cole recovers and stomps him. Lethal ducks, as Cole goes over the top rope. Outside the ring, Lethal continues chopping. Then a dropkick to the back and Cole is down. Lethal checks under the ring but comes back empty handed. He dropkicks Cole again. He checks another side of the ring and comes out again with nothing. He walks around the ring and on the third side, he pulls out a table. Lethal props Cole against the table and climbs to the top rope. Lethal jumps but Cole moves and Lethal throws himself into the table. Lethal’s head is now busted open and bleeding. Cole throws Lethal against the ring post. The champion is reeling now. Lethal has a contusion on his lower back. Looks nasty. Both table spots tonight have been brutal with men landing badly and getting hurt.

      Lethal dropkicks Cole out of the ring. He runs, bouncing off the ropes and dives out onto Cole. He does it again and again with the second and third times sending Cole into the barricade. And a fourth time. Then a fifth. Crowd is rowdy. A sixth dive and this time Cole counters, throwing Lethal into the barricade. Cole throws the champ into the ring. The two trade punches in the middle of the ring. Cole spits on Lethal and then hits a Shining Wizard. Only a two count on the champion. Cole sets up in the corner, stomping his foot for a super kick. Lethal stands, moves out of the way and clotheslines the challenger to the mat. Low blow by Cole and the ref doesn’t see it. A cover, but Lethal gets his leg on the rope at the last possible second to keep hanging on. Cole locks on a sleeper hold and Lethal starts to fade. Lethal fights back and hits the Lethal Combination. Both men down, gasping for air. Lethal covers, two count. Lethal suplexes Cole. And again. The champ climbs to the top rope. He drops an elbow and covers Cole. Two count. The two trade kicks back and forth to the crowd’s chagrin. Lethal tries his finisher, but Cole lands a super kick. Cole hits two Last Shots but Lethal kicks out! Cole screams, “The title is mine! You ain’t shit!” Then he spits on Lethal. Lethal hits the Lethal Injection but Cole kicks out. Crowd is out of their minds! “This Is Awesome!” chant. Last Shot, Shining Wizard, Last Shot by Cole and he covers Lethal to take the title! Oh my! The world title changes hands! Jay Lethal put on the fight of his life but just couldn’t over come! A fantastic sports spectacle! Now, THAT is pro-wrestling. Cole doesn’t realize that Kyle O’Riley has crept up behind him. He turns and O’Riley clobbers him to end the show.

      A fantastic crowd in Las Vegas tonight, helped to feed the atmosphere and make each wrestler feel welcomed. All competitors brought their A-game and the night flew by. There wasn’t a bad match on the card, at all. There were no lulls in action, there wasn’t even time to take a breath. This one was balls to the walls from the gate. Bravo to Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling both for bringing us an epic pay-per-view. I enjoyed every moment. What did you all think? Let us know your favorites moments and matches in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

      As always, please check out the Go Fund Me page for my wife and I as we have been in a bit of a stressful situation lately. If you can help us out by donating, we would appreciate it. If you are unable to donate, please share the link on your social media to spread the word. Thank you!

Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


F2H’s Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up


      –The week got off to a slow start. A really slow start. Like a really, really slow start. Monday Night Raw kicked off the week of pro-wrestling with an anti-climatic show. The highlights were Seth Rollins on the mic and a match between Cesaro and Rusev for the United States Champiosnhip. Unfortunately, nothing much else spectacular happened. WWE hit a speedbump and slowed way down. Check out our full review of the show HERE.

      –Smackdown suffered much in the same way as it’s Raw counterpart. Partially because the roster isn’t entirely great and partially because they reverted back to their old ways in terms of style and content. There are still lingering issues with the brand split, and things didn’t improve this week, with Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan pulling the old Teddy Long tag-team match trick. Alexa Bliss got her first in-ring debut on the main roster, but the highlight of the night was a match between Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton. Our review of the disappointing program can be found HERE.

      –Wednesday night finally gave us something interesting to watch as the latest episode of NXT gave us a really pissed off Samoa Joe, match setups for Takeover: Brooklyn, and a little bit of a showcase for some of the newer talent to get some TV time. Ring work needs a little perfecting, but our review HERE was pretty generous. It was a nice episode, especially after the train wreck of Raw and Smackdown. And, Nakamura had a lot of fun. Make sure to watch this one until the end.

      –Following NXT, the second round of the Cruiserweight Classic gave us two exceptional matches. This might have been the highlight of the entire week. It’s always refreshing to see edge of your seat wrestling. And we got plenty to gawk at with Gran Metalik, Tajiri, Kota Ibushi and Cedric Alexander keeping the crowd on their feet. A spectacular couple of matches that did not disappoint and started round two with great flair. See our full review HERE. And be sure to catch every episode as some of these guys will be on a TV near you soon.

      –A BIG debut came to us Thursday night as TNA brought it in another exciting episode of Impact Wrestling. King of the Mountain Champion, James Storm, put it all on the line against World Heavyweight and X-Division Champion, Bobby Lashley, in the main event. Three titles, one man, it was quite a spectacle. EC3 and Eddie Edwards took on Mike Bennett and Moose, and Gail Kim had her hands full in a handicap match. It was a nice outing from Dixie Carter and Company. You can read our full review HERE.

      –No New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) episode this week. AXSTV was busy doing other things, I guess. But we’ll cover it whenever it’s available again. Next week business will pick up as we have three pay-per-views. Ring of Honor will be bringing us Death Before Dishonor XIV Friday night live from Las Vegas. And this won’t be your run-of-the-mill ROH show. They are partnering up with the NJPW roster to bring us a whole card of matches you don’t want to miss. NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2 will happen Saturday, and WWE’s spicy Mania, SummerSlam, will happen on Sunday with both shows happening live on the WWE Network. Hopefully all promotions will be on their A-game next week and we can bring you some good coverage. Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


ROH/NJPW 2016 Global Wars Live Review, Match Results and Feedback


      Global Wars is here – Ring of Honor meets New Japan Pro Wrestling! This pay-per-view is live in Chicago, IL at the Frontier Fieldhouse. It’s set to be quite an event and Face To Heel is here to give you every exciting minute.

      Mr. Wrestling 3 and Kevin Kelly start the show on commentary, setting the stage for the night’s event. Roderick Strong comes down to the ring. This is a #1 Contender Match for the ROH Television Championship. His opponents are Adam Page, ACH, and Dalton Castle. Castle makes an entrance, as he usual does. ACH and Page start the match. This a tag fatal-4-way. You can tag in any opponent you want, but doing so puts you at risk to lose the match. ACH goes to work early with a series of slips followed by a perfectly executed dropkick. Strong tags himself in by slapping ACH and he and Page barely tie it up before Strong scurries over and tags in Castle. Strong gets back in and takes control of the match, throwing Dalton around and hitting him with some stiff chops. Dalton catches Strong off the top rope and suplexes him. ACH hits an amazing flip outside the ring that takes everyone down, including Dalton’s boys. But Strong suplexes him off the top rope and hits a double knee gut buster. ACH rolls out of the ring. Dalton attacks Strong and slams him down on Page. Then Dalton rolls up Page for the pinfall! Fun match, and all four guys put on a solid outing.

      Jushin Thunder Liger and Cheeseburger take on The Addiction in tag team action up next. Christopher Daniels and Cheeseburger to start the match. Addiction takes charge and trade turns beating down Cheeseburger. Liger finally gets the hot tag and lands some offense. Out of no where Addiction hit Celebrity Rehab and Liger almost takes a pin. Cheeseburger barely breaks up the count and saves the match. Kazarian is caught unaware and Cheeseburger rolls him up for a small package pinfall. After the match, Kazarian and Daniels attack both men and Cheeseburger takes the Best Meltzer Ever. Strong match. You have to love Cheeseburger, but his size really makes you have to suspend belief when watching him take on much bigger opponents. Liger is really good. Would have liked to see him more in this match.

      War Machine vs The Briscoes for the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championships next up on the card. Briscoes come out first. War Machine follows and Hanson and Raymond Rowe are all business as they enter the ring. Nice showmanship before the match with all four men shaking hands in the middle of the ring. Mark and Hanson start the match. It quickly spills out of the ring and Mark gets tossed into the barricade. Hanson takes in Rowe and Mark gets beat down. Hanson tags back in and they double team Mark. Jay finally gets a tag in and the Briscoes double suplex Hanson. Jay hits move after move and goes for a pin. Hanson kicks out. Mark gets tagged in and Hanson continues taking a beating with a Russian leg sweep and later a running lariat. Hanson tosses Mark out of the ring and Rowe gets the tag. Outside the ring, Mark and Jay team up on Rowe but Hanson dives out of the ring and knocks them down. Hanson gets put through a table outside the ring and the brothers isolate Rowe. He kicks out at two but is slow to get up. Rowe recovers and suplexes Jay. Jay jumps up and the two have a stare down, then take each other out. Hanson enters and Mark slides in to fight him. Hanson clobbers him with a clothesline and all four men are down. Jay and Hanson recovers and Jay clotheslines them both out of the ring. Then Mark jumps out and takes down Hanson. Back in the ring Jay and Rowe fight as the crowd starts a “Man Up!” chant. Rowe gets taken down and kicks out at two. All four men get back in the ring. Jay and Mark hit Hanson and it looks like we have new tag team champs, but somehow he kicks out! Jay takes a series of devastating moves. Then Hanson does a moonsault off the top rope! Jay slams him down but Hanson again kicks out at two! Mark takes a Fallout and Hanson rolls him up for the pinfall! What a spectacular match. That was really great. Easily the best match of the night so far. Very entertaining. I look forward to watching that one again later.

      Kyle O’Reilly comes down the ramp set to take on the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Tetsuya Naito. When Naito comes out he discards his title at the top of the ramp. Grappling to start as both men size each other up. Naito showing no respect to O’Reilly or the referee. Crowd oddly cheering for Naito throughout, though. Solid ground game submission from both guys and fast paced offense. The match slows down when O’Reilly locks in Naito’s ankle and then his arm. Naito recovers and hits a hurancarana off the top rope. Both men get a couple of near falls and the crowd shows respect clapping for them. Naito hits an amazing neck breaker-like finisher move and gets the pinfall. After the match Naito kicks O’Reilly in the junk and tosses his title once again. Nice story told in this one.

      Another tag team match featuring Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin versus Moose and Kazuchika Okada. Okada and Tanahashi to start the match. Crowd gives them a standing-O and a “Holy Shit!” chant. Too much offense to keep track of. Both men are skilled in the ring and have a long history. They trade moves and get a “New Japan!” chant from the crowd. Okada tags in Moose and Tanahashi gets in Elgin. Elgin holds up Moose for almost 30 seconds before dropping him. Moose pops up immediately and lays on some punches. Crowd finally waking up for one of the few times tonight. You’d think Chicago would be more lively. Elgin tags in Tanahashi and he goes to work on Moose. But Moose shoulder tackles him to the ground and gets Okada back in. So much happens for the next couple minutes that I couldn’t keep up to type it. Moose and Elgin really put on a good show for the fans, executing some nice moves for big men. DDT from Okada on Tanahashi but he kicks out at two. Okada tries a piledriver but its reversed into a Slingblade and both men go down. Elgin gets tagged in. He sprints across the ring and knocks Moose off the apron. Elgin and Tanahashi double team Okada, hitting a powerslam off the top rope. Elgin almost gets the pinfall but Moose rolls in to break up the count. Moose and Tanahashi battle outside the ring as Elgin works on Okada in the ring. Okada hits a Rainmaker on Elgin for the win. Another great tag team match. Ring of Honor booked their matches well tonight. The right teams came together to put on excellent matches.

      Ring of Honor World TV Champion, Tomohiro Ishii, to battle Bobby Fish next, with the title on the line. Slow going to start, Fish takes brief control until Ishii gets him the corner and attacks him with forearms and chops. Fish hardly has any offense. Ishii toys with him, slapping his face and rubbing his boot across his head. Fish tries a headbutt but only ends up on his butt for his efforts, Ishii seemingly unfazed. Fish tries a flying headbutt off the top rope but misses. Fish finally gets Ishii down and tries a couple pinfalls, but Ishii kicks out at two both times. Ishii headbutts Fish in the chest and both men collapse to the mat. Out on the apron, both men trade punches. Ishii chops Fish off the apron. While arguing with the ref, Ishii gets his leg kicked by Fish and collapses to the outside. Ref starts a double count out. Ishii rolls in at 17 and Fish barely makes it back at 19. Fish takes a violent lariat but manages to kick out at two. Fish gets Ishii in a headlock and he passes out. The ref stops it and Bobby Fish is the new ROH World TV Champion.

      Eight man tag action up next. Matt Sydal, Kushida, and Motor City Machine Guns vs The Bullet Club (Young Bucks and Guerrillas of Destiny.) This match concerns me. Usually, an eight man tag for a pay-per-view is never a good idea. Too many people trying to get into the match and pull off their spots. It tends to kill the flow and makes the ending a little too hyper. We’ll see how this one goes. Crowd is heavily into this one. Me, not so much. Too much energy to start and they are just doing stunt after stunt. I don’t much care for “spotfests” which this clearly is. The ref just lets everyone that isn’t legal run around the ring and do double or triple teams. The Young Bucks double team to pick up the pinfall. Not a single Super Kick was fired. Not a terrible match at all, just not my cup of tea.

      Tonight’s main event is Chicago-native, Colt Cobana, taking on Jay Lethal for the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Championship. It’s been five years since we’ve seen Cobana in the Ring of Honor ring. Really fun start to this match, heavy on offense. Lot of dives outside the ring, with Lethal flying into the crowd at one point. Taeler Hendrix gets ejected from the ringside after trying to interfere with the match. Cobana holds his own against the champ, getting several near falls. Lethal is too much and recovers everytime. Lethal sits Cobana on the top rope and chops him. He goes for a suplex, but Cobana fights back and punches him down. Lethal sprints up and kicks Cobana in the side of the head. He climbs up but Cobana catches him and hits Chicago Skyline on the top ropes. He goes for a pin but Lethal narrowly kicks out. Cobana locks in the Billy Goat’s Curse submission. Lethal looks like he is about to tap, but Taeler Hendrix runs out and pulls the ref out. The Young Bucks run out and super kick the ref, then super kick Hendrix. The Bucks pull out Bullet Club t-shirts and roll into the ring. The lights go out. Adam Cole is standing in the ring with the Young Bucks when the lights come back up. He points finger guns at Lethal and Cobana and The Young Bucks super kick them. What proceeds is an absurd amount of people running to the ring and taking super kicks. The other members of the Bullet Club come out and help decimate all the refs and security and random run-ins. The Young Bucks even super kick the announce team. Jay Lethal is zip-tied to the ropes and Cole super kicks him over and over. The Young Bucks’ father comes out and takes a triple super kick. Then a camera man takes a super kick. The camera falls to the mat and the Bullet Club lays down in front of it and shouts, “This is our world now!” Show over. Shame that the Cobana/Lethal match ended no contest, however this was a fantastic end to the show. Maybe a little too nWo, but really good stuff. I was entertained and this set up some great storytelling for the future. This pay-per-view was worth every penny of the $45 we spent on it. I am very happy. I’ll give the entire broadcast four out of five stars. Entertaining, fun, something fresh. It was a strong broadcast from Ring of Honor.

Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


Pro-Wrestling Injury Updates For All Major Promotions


      For those of you who didn’t see WWE’s Payback last night (and boy did you miss out because it was solid), Enzo Amore took a hard shot in the neck from the bottom rope sliding out of the ring. He smacked his head hard and rolled out of the ring unconscious. The ref immediately signaled for a medical trainer and stopped the match. No, this was not one of those scripted “works” to end a match. This was one of those truly scary moments when a professional wrestler gets injured. Enzo was carted out on a stretcher as Big Cass, according to those in attendance, stood ringside crying. It put a dark blemish on an otherwise great pay-per-view. Luckily, Enzo was discharged from the hospital shortly before midnight. All scans were negative and he was diagnosed with nothing more than a concussion. Not to be taken lightly, however, concussions can cause serious brain damage, and so we may not see Enzo wrestling for a few weeks while he recovers.

      Injuries happen, sadly all too often, but they are a part of an athlete’s life. Throughout pro-wrestling, a lot of competitors are injured at the moment. Some will return soon, others may never return at all. Here is a breakdown of the major injuries across the map for the big wrestling promotions:


      We’ll briefly touch on John Cena. He was out multiple months with an injured shoulder, but WWE has been making it apparent that he is scheduled to return to action on the May 30th Raw later this month. Cena has a long history of healing quickly from injuries so it shouldn’t take him long to get back to full contact competition without any ring rust.

      Bray Wyatt has had a nagging calf injury that has kept him out of in-ring action since early April. Despite The Wyatt Family being featured on the WWE Payback poster, neither the Family or Bray made an appearance at the show. WWE hasn’t released any information on a possible return date for him. Although this particular injury seems minor, sometimes the small, persistent injuries are the ones that are the most meanicing, tending to linger longer than we’d expect. Meanwhile, Luke Harper suffered a pretty bad knee injury back in March that required surgery. No timetable has been set for his return either. The two best members of The Wyatt Fam are injured and that is a shame.

      Neville broke his ankle in March. Not too serious an injury, but for a fast high-flyer like Neville, it’s the sort of injury that will keep him sidelined for two or three months at minimum while he recovers.

      The Apex Predator, Randy Orton, is still out with a shoulder injury that has kept him away from WWE since last October. No exact time has been mentioned for his return, however at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony the night before WrestleMania, Orton told interviewers he was maybe two months away from returning to the ring. Hopefully he has a significant role to play at Summerslam later this year. Orton has a long history of shoulder problems, but he always seems to bounce back to full form.

      Seth Rollins tore his ACL, MCL and medial meniscus taking on Kane at a house show late last year. If this had happened 15 or 20 years ago, it probably would have been game over for Rollins’ career. However, with the advance of medical technology many athletes outside of wrestling have recovered from this sort of thing. It may take time, but Rollins should return as good as new eventually. WWE estimated he would miss six to nine months back in November, so the latest he should return is Summerslam or shortly after. He’s been very private and guarded about the incident while he recovers and gets back to training. The resulting injury resulted in Rollins vacating the World Heavyweight Championship and leaving a big hole in the roster.

      Tyson Kidd suffered a very brutal neck/spinal injury last June and details are sketchy as to whether or not he will even be able to return to the ring. He was lucky that he didn’t get paralyzed. He is expected to miss at least a full year and possibly more, if he can ever return at all. He has been missed, especially by his former tag team partner, Cesaro. Speaking of the Swiss Superman, he recently returned to action after a shoulder injury and is currently wrestling with kinesio tape as he recovers full mobility.

      Nikki Bella underwent major neck surgery earlier this year. With her sister, Brie, retiring from in-ring action, there’s no telling when or even if Nikki will return. With the boom in the Women’s Division, by the time she is ready to return, there may not even be a spot for her. At least she will have the E! network.

      Hideo Itami is out with a shoulder injury and WWE has stated he is “nowhere close to being able to return” to ring competition. The injury required surgery and it’s likely he will miss at least half a year before he can make his comeback on the NXT roster.

      Sting suffered a neck injury last year that also spelled doom for his career. He officially retired from his short-lived WWE in-ring action at the Hall of Fame ceremony last month.

      And last, but certainly not least, we all know the outcome of Daniel Bryan’s career ending concussion and neck issues. He retired earlier this year and we will never get to cheer for him as a performer again. This one is sadly permanent and WWE will miss his presence.

      (Note: We did not mention Bayley in this article as her injury at a recent NXT taping was a “work” for the angle she is in. She was not legitimately hurt. It’s difficult to determine if Finn Balor is for real injured as well because of conflicting rumors online.)

      TNA Impact, NJPW, Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground

      Davey Richards (TNA), one half of The Wolves, suffered a knee injury that sidelined him and required surgery back in February. Richards is another in a long line of ACL injuries for pro-wrestling. Richards said in an interview that he was slated to miss six to nine months, however his doctors are amazed to find he is recovering quicker than they thought. He could return sometime this summer. Most of the TNA roster is healthy for the most part. Unfortunately for Dixie Carter and company, many of their roster is jumping ship to sign with WWE.

      Matt Taven (ROH) is also out with knee injury in the form of a torn ACL, that required two surgeries to repair. Doctors have timidly said his return will take a minimum of at least nine months. Worst case scenario is a year or more.

      A report hit the internet after this weekend’s Lucha Underground tapings that Angelico suffered an injury to his elbow after landing awkwardly during a springboard. Matanza Cueto suffered an arm injury, slicing open a vein after punching through a glass window. He was rushed to a local hospital. While the bloody scene looked horrific, the wound was not as serious as it appeared. No update currently for Angelico, but Cueto is expected to be back in the ring next week.

      The writing is on the wall here that most wrestlers take heavy impact on their knees, shoulders and necks. Make no mistake about it, professional wrestling is predetermined, but the risk these athletes take every night is not now, nor has it ever been, faked. They put their bodies on the line to entertain us, and sometimes pay a very big price. As fans, we can often take these sort of things for granted. So just for a moment, send some positive thoughts and vibes out to all those recovering from injury at the moment. We wish them all a speedy recovery.

Article by Jamie Curtis BakerFotoFlexer_Photo


Why We Chant For CM Punk

Cm-Punk-with-Mustache (1)

      CM Punk has not been present in the WWE since early 2014, but that doesn’t stop fans from chanting his name, especially when a live event is held in his hometown of Chicago.  His departure with the WWE isn’t one that happened on the best terms, as he was “accidentally” terminated on his wedding day; the story is that no one realized he was getting married on that particular day, but I’m simply not buying it.  Punk chose to left for a long list of reasons, and considering the way he was treated and underutilized, I can’t blame him.  He has since moved on to sign with the UFC and will debut later this year (we hope).

      Even though Punk is done with the WWE, the fans are not done with him.  Prior to AJ Lee retiring, the Punk chants filled the arena when she would walk out; not very respectful to her, but I can understand the urge to do it.  When my husband and I attended the 2014 Payback PPV in Chicago, we chanted for Punk all night, plus had the signs and the shirts as we hoped he would come back.  The March 7, 2016 Raw in Chicago started off with a bang with Shane and Vince McMahon squaring off, and Vince ended up being interrupted by a booming “CM PUNK” chant as he berated his son.  On last night’s WWE Roadblock, Canadian fans started out the night with a spur of the moment Punk chant. We still see the signs, the t-shirts, and we will always have that group of fans that hold on to the sliver of hope that Punk will one day surprise us all with a triumphant return to the squared circle.  I personally don’t believe it will ever happen, but I’m guilty of thinking “what if” from time to time.

      We chant for Punk because he wasn’t lying when he printed Best In The World on his t-shirts.  When he was a heel, I truly hated him.  He didn’t resort to using easy insults to get booed, he made you want to punch him square in his smug face.  He tore down whoever the current hero was in a way that was uniquely his.  When he was a face, he demanded the crowd cheer for him without changing his personality or chasing cheap pops.  He seamlessly transitioned into whatever role was required without compromising the person he was.  His departure left a gaping hole in the WWE that no one has been able to fill yet.

      We chant for Punk because he brought something special to the WWE.  His infamous Pipe Bomb paved the way for countless other wrestlers to stop being afraid of the consequences of breaking the 4th wall, going off script, or speaking their mind.  His wife, for example, subsequently delivered one of the greatest promos a female wrestler has ever given in the WWE.  He made it okay to be a smart ass, to say things that were once forbidden, and to not give one single shit about what anyone thinks of you so long as you think the world of yourself.  He gave people the go ahead to have a backbone and to demand something better.

      We chant for Punk because his MMA debut is going to be a must-see event and is one of the most highly anticipated debuts in recent history.  You have the fans that have followed Punk from the beginning, those who only know him from the WWE, and then you have the group of people who detest the man and want to see him fail.  People on both ends of the spectrum are going to be buying the PPV, or at the very least scouring social media and YouTube for updates and video.  My husband and I have already decided to buy it, which will make it our very first UFC PPV purchase.

      We chant for Punk because he lives his life for himself, not for the fans.  He (and wife AJ) don’t post selfies at the gym or in their home.  His meals aren’t getting posted to Instagram, along with arsty photos of the park he jogged in this morning.  He lives a private life and doesn’t spend one second trying to win the approval of anybody.  His wedding was a private affair and he was pretty damn upset when a wedding photo leaked, stealing a moment meant for a few and giving it to the masses.  Punk remains shrouded in mystery, and it’s hard not to respect what he does to keep things that way.

      But most of all, we chant for Punk out of respect for everything that he has done during his career and for never giving in to pressure.  From his early days in 1999, to Ring of Honor, to ECW, to WWE, to Marvel’s comicbook landscape and now to the UFC, he has commanded every stage he’s set foot on.  He puts 100% of himself into everything he does.  When he doesn’t have 100% to give, he doesn’t waste his time trying to give anything at all.  His UFC debut will be one to watch, because Punk isn’t the type of person to waste time on something if he can’t conquer it in every possible way.  And when he finally walks out to that cage and touches gloves with his opponent, we will all loudly and enthusiastically chant for CM Punk.

Article by Mrs Jamie BakerIMG_20140926_193145