Posts Tagged ‘ Tyson Kidd ’

Wrestlemania 30: End Of One Era, Beginning Of Another

taker

Wrestlemania 30 turned out to be quite an extravaganza, with spectacular colours and personalities right from the off, along with a number of entertaining cameos from old faces, as well as a number of genuine shocks in matches throughout the night, which was sure to have been a big success for the WWE.

The night kicked off with a few words from the event’s host, Hulk Hogan. Hogan made his way down to the ring with his classic entrance music, and the place went wild. As he got talking about the history of the event, he was interrupted by some striking entrance music; that of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Stone Cold made his way down to the ring to stir up the crowd a bit, and he whipped them into a frenzy at the prospect of him kicking Hogan’s ass. That didn’t materialise, however, as he said he had too much respect for what Hogan had done for the business. Shortly after this, he was interrupted himself, as The Rock made his way down to the ring. The crowd roared, as three of the all-time fan favourites occupied the ring at the same time and, although there was some notable mic rustiness from the three, they got great cheers as they rattled through their catchphrases and downed some beers.

The first match of the night saw Triple H taking on Daniel Bryan, with the winner going on to take part in the World Heavyweight Title triple threat main event match. Triple H came down to the ring on a huge throne, with a tremendous golden crown, as well as armour, adorned upon him. Bryan had come down with his shoulder heavily strapped, having re-injured it during his attack on Triple H on Raw, but he brought the fight to his opponent early. He landed a barrage of kicks on The Game, before the Cerebral Assassin’s size and power advantage took over. Triple H landed a number of heavy blows on the leader of the yes movement, working hard on the injured shoulder. He put Bryan in a number of crossface-style submission holds, to inflict maximum damage. But Bryan would not go down or tap out, and he kept fighting back hard. Triple H landed a couple of Pedigrees, but couldn’t keep Bryan down for a three count. Bryan had to land a couple of running knees himself before actually pulling off the victory, but it did not end there. Stephanie McMahon, who had been at ringside throughout, slapped Bryan several times after the match, before Triple H attacked him from behind, and hit his injured shoulder with a steel chair, raising doubts about his ability to compete in the main event.

Continue reading

Ballancing Act: Irish Wrestler Seeks Further Success

bingoballance1

We sat down with Irish News Review wrestling columnist Gary “Bingo” Ballance to assess the current state of Irish wrestling and see what 2014 holds in store for the Zenith Of Zero Gravity.

What needs to be done to help Irish wrestling as a whole grow stronger in 2014?

I think television coverage would be a massive step forward but, on a smaller scale, an emphasis on quality shows and value for money for audiences each and every time would certainly be a good place to start.

Will we ever see the many Irish wrestling promotions unite to form one major promotion?

In my view? No. “Too many cooks…”, as the saying goes. Each promotion/promoter has an idea of what’s “good for business”, and the battle of egos would lead to a giant clusterfuck. That’s not a knock on anyone running a promotion at the moment. If I was running one, I’d have an idea of how I wanted things done, and have a method of working to that, and wouldn’t be particularly happy to work to someone else’s template. To be honest, I don’t think one giant promotion would be good even if it materialised; it would monopolise the number of spots available in the country- more so- and the lack of competition would lead to complacency. A bit of strong competition is always healthy, I think.

Could Irish wrestling ever turn into a full-time job for wrestlers like yourself?

If there were regular bookings for good money, and you could make a comfortable living? Sure. That’s not the current state of play in this country, though, as it stands, so it’s not an option. Not for me, anyway. Not at the moment.

Do you think the big American promotions underestimate Irish/European talent?

I don’t think so, no. They have a number of European wrestlers on their roster at the moment, and have previously featured the likes of Finlay and Regal in relatively prominent positions on their shows. I think they definitely appreciate what the likes of Barrett, Sheamus, Drew and Cesaro bring to the table, and the addition of these guys adds a bit of variety to the show, and a more hard-hitting, European flavour to proceedings. Part of Sheamus’ gimmick is that he’s Irish, so WWE can say they have an Irish wrestler as part of their show. Unless another Irish wrestler had something very special and something different to set themselves apart from him- like Fergal Devitt, for example- why would they take a gamble, and wade through all the visa crap and red tape, when they have hundreds, if not thousands of wrestlers on their doorstep? It’s just logistics, really, in my opinion.

What can Irish/European wrestlers do to have a better chance of getting noticed?

Get bigger, have contacts, and have something marketable to set themselves apart from anything WWE currently has.

You have faced and worked with a number of international wrestlers throughout your career. How would you describe that experience?

It’s varied, but each situation has provided invaluable experience, and something to learn from. I worked a Fatal 4 Way early in my career with Red Vinny, TJ Wilson (now Tyson Kidd) and Ricky Marvin, and it was an absolute mess. Marvin’s from Mexico, and was by far the most experienced of the four of us, and he laid out the match. Even at that stage of my career, it didn’t make a lick of sense to me, and I knew we weren’t gonna go anywhere near the time we’d been given for the match. It was an interesting experience, though, to just go out and see what happened. Similarly, working with Keni’chiro Arai was fun, back in 2007- I have pretty much no Japanese, and he only had a little English, but we managed to put a match together, and I really liked working with him. He was a gent. The experience working with some of the ex-WWE/WCW/ECW and/or ROH/TNA talent has varied. Some have been really sound (Doug Basham, Tracey Smothers, Daivari and Alison Danger, amongst others), while others like Raven and Vito behaved like prima donnas. It’s always cool to meet more experienced people, though, and pick up bits and pieces of advice, and tips to try and strengthen your own performance.

Two Irish talents were snapped up by WWE in 2013- that must be a huge boost for all to know the top American promotions are keeping tabs on Irish talent?

I can’t speak for the rest of the lads, really, just myself. I don’t get the impression that anything has changed, really. WWE still seem to be looking for what they’ve always looked for, and for those that fit their mold- unless you find a way to fit that mold and/or have the contacts in the organisation, a tryout or a shot at getting in there seems as elusive as ever.

Will Irish wrestling prosper in the future or are the numbers signing up for training declining?

I don’t think there’s been any noticeable decline in people joining training, really- not from what I’ve seen, anyway. I’d say that as long as trainees are getting information and advice from those with plenty of consistent in-ring experience and a broad knowledge of all aspects of professional wrestling- guys who know what they’re talking about, not bullshitters- and get the opportunity to learn and grow on shows, I have faith that the Irish scene will be in good hands in the years to come.   

bingoballance2

How would you describe the evolution of your character from your debut in 2005 until now?

It’s hard to say, really. Bingo Ballance and Gary Ballance are essentially one and the same, so any changes in “Bingo’s” personality or character would mirror my own experiences, and outlook. I don’t think I have sufficient objectivity to judge any changes in my personality over the years, but I’ve tried to stay true to who I am as a person outside the ring, as much as I can. When I started, I was fairly naive, and tightly-wound. Nowadays, I’m slightly less tightly-wound, a little more laid-back, and definitely more cynical. I doubt that would translate into my performances, though! One noticeable evolution, however, would be my comfort in the ring, and that’s something that people who know me have commented on. They’ve seen my early work, and my more recent work, and noted that I look more at ease and comfortable when I’m wrestling, and that’s definitely something I feel. It’s a nice place to be, mentally.

Which of your title reigns has been your most enjoyable and why ?

That’s a tough one, actually, and I don’t think I could actually pick a favourite one; each was enjoyable for different reasons. My first reign as IWW Zero Gravity Champion will always be special to me, for sentimental reasons. Holding the Wrestlezone Undisputed Title was great, too, as it was my first championship in a promotion overseas, and I have a great fondness for Wrestlezone, its wrestlers and its fans- it was cool to be Champion there, even for just a brief while. Winning the CCW Title last year, as well, was great in its own way as it was totally unexpected, and at a stage where I felt like I was winding down. That night in Cork helped prove to myself that I still had a little bit of the ‘old magic’, and was a confidence boost when I needed one.

What would you say has been the biggest eye opener for you during your time in the industry?

I don’t think I’ve really been that shocked by anything! I knew that things on an independent level wouldn’t be as glamorous, compared to WWE, and, to be honest, I wouldn’t change that for the world. It adds character. I’ve gotten changed in alleyways, men’s rooms, caravans, and every conceivable cramped or tight space, and slept on floors, couches, in airports, on massage tables, you name it! It’s been tough at times, frustrating at others, but this is something I love doing, and they’re stories and experiences I will remember in the long run. “Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy”, as they say. I think, on some level, this is why people have gotten behind the likes of Daniel Bryan and CM Punk- they know the work these guys have put in, and the sacrifices they’ve made over the years, to do something they’re truly passionate about.

Do you foresee any loopholes that may allow you to return to CCW to reclaim your title? Is that a path you would pursue if possible?

Certainly, yeah. Y’never know. I enjoyed most of my time with CCW, and was disappointed with the way things were left with them, so there’ll always be a part of me that lacks closure in that regard. That said, I’ve other commitments this year that I’m focused on and, unfortunately, they preclude me going back to CCW, for the time being. I wish them the best, though, for their shows this year, and hope they get on well.

Which promotion has been your favourite to work for?

I don’t think I really have one particular favourite, but I have a few I’ve enjoyed for different reasons. IWW, for a fair portion of my time there, was a fun place to work. I got to do shows, travel, and work with guys that had become my friends, and had some really enjoyable matches with the likes of Bam Katraz, Red Vinny, The Ballymun Bruiser and Vic Viper, amongst others. I enjoy working for Wrestling.IE, too, as it is a really professional-looking product, an actual brand for wrestling in this country, and a fantastic platform for Irish wrestling to, as it were, put its best foot forward. As well as getting the opportunity to wrestle in front of large audiences there, I’ve had the chance to work with other Irish wrestlers that I hadn’t been able to work with in Irish Whip, like Seán Brennan, Paul Tracey, Jordan Devlin and Dunkan Disorderly, for example. Abroad, I’ve had a blast anytime I’ve gone over to Wrestlezone in Scotland- they’re a really nice bunch of lads, hard-working, and the fans there are terrific.

IWW once seemed to be on the verge of great things but has stagnated in recent years. Why do you think the promotion where you first honed your skills has dropped off in recent years?   

I don’t really know, to tell you the truth. Their online presence has diminished considerably over the last few years, so it is kinda hard, in fairness, to track how they’re doing or what’s going on. I haven’t seen any of Irish Whip’s shows since I left in 2009, so I can’t really speak to the quality of their product, workers or training, and it would be unfair of me to speculate on. I do think it’s fair to say, though, that their presence on the Irish scene is not as strong as it would have been about five years ago, or so. 

Moving forward, would you say your primary focus is on training the Irish stars of tomorrow or performing in the ring?

I’ve gotta say my focus is on my own work for the time being; while I can still perform to a standard that I’m satisfied with, I want to keep going, and going strong. I enjoy training others- and if the option of a regular training position were there, I’d take it- but in the absence of that, I’m working away on my own thing. To be honest- not to put too much of a downer on this- I’ve helped people in the past and had it thrown back in my face, so I think it’s best to just work away, and concentrate on my own stuff. It’s easier and less head-wrecking that way!   

Where can fans see you in 2014?

Any Scottish supporters can catch me again in Wrestlezone this year, and I’m looking forward very much to heading back over. On home soil, I’ll be doing shows for Wrestling.IE, and whatever else crops up. 

Will 2014 be your breakout year?

Heh heh. I honestly don’t know. It’s too early to tell. I will definitely try to make the best of whatever situation I find myself in, though, and we’ll see what happens. I just want to have great matches, and if I can reach the end of 2014 proud of my work for the year, I’ll be happy.

Images courtesy of Brett Hadley

Titanic Battle Set To Encapsulate Wrestlemania

Irish News Review casts an eagerly anticipating eye over the Wrestlemania card as our very own superstar Sheamus goes in search of title glory tomorrow night .

John Cena V The Rock

These two icons clash for the first time at Wrestlemania in the The Rock’s home town of Miami. In a match that has been over a year in the making, John Cena will be looking to defy the odds and topple the self proclaimed great one.

Cena has fallen prey to The Rock on two occasions. At last year’s Wrestlemania, where The Rock served as guest host for the night, he hit his signature rock bottom on the Massachusetts native allowing his opponent The Miz to get the win and retain his title.

A few months down the line the duo were forced to team together to battle The Miz and R-Truth at Survivor Series. The match culminated with Cena falling fowl to another rock bottom.

In recent weeks the duo have been poking fun at each other but when the dust settles who will be the last man laughing?

 The Undertaker V Triple H (W/Shawn Michaels as ref)

Two of the most decorated individuals ever to enter a wrestling ring will square off inside Hell in a Cell. The question on everyone’s lips is whether Triple H can become the man to end The Undertaker’s 19 match winning streak at Wrestlemania.

The Game battled valiantly against The Deadman at last year’s event but fell short despite delivering three pedigrees to his opponent.

This will be the third time the duo have squared off at the showcase event and few would bet against Undertaker losing his streak however with Shawn Michaels acting as special guest referee  who knows what may happen. 

Team Teddy V Team Johnny

The WWE board of directors have signed up this 12 man tag match where the man behind the winning team will gain sole control of both Raw and Smackdown. Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis had enlisted the returning Christian, Dolph Ziggler, David Otunga, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger and The Miz to aid his cause. However after Christian suffered a reoccurrence of his injury on the final edition of Raw before Wrestlemania he has been replaced by Drew McIntyre. Smackdown General Manager has added Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston and WWE legend Booker T to Team Teddy.

WWE Championship match: CM Punk V Chris Jericho

This rivalry which has become personal in recent weeks will reach an exciting climax on the grandest stage of them all.

The returning Jericho first locked horns with CM Punk at the Elimination Chamber where a kick from Punk floored the Canadian, rendering him incapable of finishing the match.

One day later on Raw Jericho earned the right to battle Punk at Wrestlemania by winning a ten man battle royal.

Since Jericho’s victory he has poked fun at his straight edge opponent claiming the reason Punk lives the fine life is due to his upbringing by his alcoholic father. Jericho has also had a laugh at the expense of Punk’s sister which has sent the Second City Saviour into a fury. His claim that Punk is “the legal definition of a bastard” has also gotten inside the champion’s head.

At Wrestlemania he must unleash this fury which was evident on Raw when he injured Christian in order to maintain his WWE title and prove he is the better wrestler.

World Heavyweight Championship match: Daniel Bryan V Sheamus

Dubliner Sheamus takes to the ring in Miami looking to win his fourth top title in WWE. The two time WWE champion and one time United States Champion will have to be smart in planning a way to defeat the manipulative and crafty World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan.

The roles of the duo have reversed since Sheamus defeated Bryan last March. On that day the Royal Rumble was billed as the heel while Bryan was the fans favourite. Sheamus has come a long way since and has endeared himself to the fans while Bryan has done everything in his power to keep his coveted title, much to the annoyance of everyone around him. Bryan has sunk to low depths in order to defend his title including spitting in Sheamus’ face which caused the former Irish Whip Wrestling champion to snap and be disqualified during a recent match.

The duo will be eager to put on a top match this year having seen their scheduled match at last year’s card demoted to dark match status. 

 

Intercontinental title match: Cody Rhodes V Big Show

Although he holds countless accolades in his incredible WWE career, The Big Show has never won in singles competition at Wrestlemania. The giant will be looking to end this streak on April 1st when he battles Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental title.

Rhodes has been a thorn in the side of the Florida native, costing him the World Heavyweight Championship at the Elimination Chamber.

His brash and arrogant style has infuriated Show, whose Wrestlemania stands at 3-8, having won three tag team matches at the event.

Show will have to be at top form in order to topple the rising star of the WWE.  

Randy Orton V Kane

This match has ferociously developed since Randy Orton returned to the ring on March 2nd. Kane interrupted Orton`s return during his match with Daniel Bryan and began assaulting the Apex Predator. Since then Kane has developed something of an obsession with Orton and will be aiming to finish off The Viper at Wrestlemania.

The duo have been involved in a spate of brawls since and The Big Red Monster has revealed his aggro with Orton stems from his refusal to shake his hand after a gruelling street fight last year.

Kane has vowed to decimate Orton at Wrestlemania but there is little telling what will happen when these two larger than life forces meet. 

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos V Beth Phoenix and Eve

The host of NBC’s Extra Maria Menounos is stepping back into the squared circle again to team up with Kelly Kelly to take on Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve at WrestleMania XXVIII.

It’s a match two years in the making, as Beth and Eve have been caught in a bitter rivalry since late 2009. Menounos, who scored a shocking pinfall victory over The Glamazon in an Eight-Diva Tag Team Match at WWE Tribute to the Troops in December, may face her toughest challenge yet in Miami, as both Beth and Eve want to teach a stern lesson to the Dancing with the Stars competitor.

The tag titles will also be up for grabs in a special pre Wrestlemania match to be shown at wwe.com as Primo and Epico defend the gold against the Uso Brothers and the newly formed team of Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd.