Friday, June 24, 2016

Bellator Dynamite 2 - Rampage vs. Ishii

 The theme from 2001 plays us in to the show and we get a pretty epic intro using the LED boards and a faux-dynamite explosion. PRIDE-style walkouts to start with everyone coming on-stage. Patricky Pitbull now has a creepy stache. Love the big-time intros on Bellator. Bruce Beck and Bruce Albgeri will be doing the kickboxing commentary, with Bellator's team doing the MMA work - good move overall. Matt Mitrione is in the opener next.

The Bellator-tron looks amazing - they've added a huge LED board to the walkway that is great. Mitrione's video package goes into how his last name was always screwed up - so he became Meathead. "I don't set out to get guys pregnant - I'm here to hit with fists and shins. I don't play shit safe - it's not in my nature!". "Simple Man" plays him in while we talk about we're told about Meathead's daughter possibly having her severed nerves saved on Monday thanks to being in St Louis for this fight. Big John is our ref and we're told it's the first time Big John has reffed a fight of his.

Carl kicks the legs to start. A brief slugfest breaks out and Matt gets clipped and hit hard. He's down and Carl goes for a choke. Matt recovers and has Carl on his back now. Matt...crawls around him for a while. He gets up, kicks the legs and hits a fistdrop to KO him. After the fight, Matt says he doesn't recall being KOed and he has no memory of crawling on the mat. Matt's next fight is against Oli Thompson, who puts him over for his recover. We see a highlight reel of Oli, and they'll fight in July at the O2 Arena.

King Mo and Hendo are shown in the crowd. Kickboxing is up as Gloria Peritore faces Denise Kohltz - who will now just be first names. Dang - they start off quick just throwing everything. Denise lands a 1-2 and Gloria slips. Gloria lands a side kick and it's just non-stop action for round 1. Round 2 keeps the pace up with a big spinning backfist by Gloria. Slugfest to close round 2. Denise knocks her on her ass with a hard leg kick. It ends with a hug - I'd give Denise the win here.Gloris gets the split decision win and a sea of boos.

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is up against Rebecca Ruth for female MMA flyweight action. Ilima tries to dominate, but can't take her down. Really sloppy fight here - nothing pretty about it, but they're moving constantly. They talk about how Ilima works a second job. Bellator - our fighters have to work second jobs to make ends meet. I know it's women's MMA and even UFC's fighters have issues, but DON'T TALK ABOUT IT ON COMMENTARY. They cut into the second round of the fight from an ad. Whoops. Ali goes for an RNC off the ground, but Ruth escapes after a big struggle. She stands, but then gets put into another RNC standing up and taps. Lei cries in victory.

Randy Couture is in the crowd. Shocked they haven't tried to get him into the cage. Lennox Lewis says he'll be at the O2 as a fan for the next Bellator show. They plug the Bellator Kickboxing show AFTER THIS SHOW. Jeez. That's gonna be on until like 1:30 or 2. "A Country Boy Can Survive" brings out Justin Houghton to face Kevin Ross, who has a wacky song mixing J-pop and rap. MMA FIGHTER VEST! Love it. Round 1 is non-stop action with leg kicks and jabs. Lots of fast action in rounds 2 and 3, but Houghton falls to a pair of hard shots at the end of round 3.

Bendo is interviewed and says he's going back to 155 more likely than not. Pitbull vs. Chandler is up next and is our semi-main event. Pitbull's stache is disturbing. "I'm Coming Home" plays Chandler down and we get an epic shot of Chandler with his flame tron through the cage. Chandler gets him down, hits a huge right hook and KOs him! Dayum! Chandler hops ON THE CAGE with both feet - bad idea.
Chandler says he'll be Bendo's Huckleberry and fight him if he wants it. Rampage video shows him training with his dog, and saying that the only thing keeping him going in this old body is the high he gets howling in the ring. Ishii says knows Rampage from his movie "Team A" and says he became a fan seeing Rampage fight Saku. Rampage says it's been a long time since he's been called the best - but he wants to get that title again. Ishii gets a really cooling lighting setup for his intro. Beautiful theme too. Rampage's setup is full of chains.
Jimmy Smith talks about meeting Rampage when he had nothing - he had no on-paper credentials, but a lot of heart and earned everything he has. He comes in with his camo and looks really soft. Nothing happening to start. Literally nothing. Rampage is walking away and Ishii is doing nothing. Ishii gets him against the cage and goes for a Kimura, but he lets it go. Ishii gets a...kinda takedown... Well, it's fitting on a night with Ken vs. Kimbo being shown in highlight form that we'd get that. Rampage has absolutely nothing left and it's sad. They talk about Barney being around when Rampage started and segue into Demi Lovato.

Round 2 starts with some good leg kicks by Ishii. Ishii takes him down and goes into north/south. Rampage is flapping all around and winded. Rampage is dominated from the clinch constantly and round 2 ends with nothing really happening. They show Demi and talk about her being on Barney. They circle exactly like they did to start the round. Leg kicks. Not entirely sure this isn't just a replay of round 1 with booing added in. They are each caked in sweat, so takedowns are going to be harder as are subs.

RAMPAGE GOES FOR SOMETHING, but can't get a trip. Takes him down and he's got nothing left to do damage. Rampage lands a few punches from the side mount. No power in them at all. Rampage goes for a double and then a single, but can't get either so he holds a clinch against the cage while they talk about how exhausted Ishii is. I know Rampage is a meal ticket, but COME ON, call the fight as you see it. I can't say as I'm shocked at them pointing out how bad Ishii looked and not doing the same for Rampage, but I'm disappointed. "You wonder if Bellator gold is something he has interest in". HE CAN'T GET THROUGH THIS FIGHT and you want a title fight? Rampage "wins" via split decision. Rampage thanks God and says that this is the oldest he's ever been in a fight. No kiddin! Rampage cuts a great promo about taking a break, and then going to train and come back to kick some ass!

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Kimbo Slice: One of a Kind

We hear Kimbo talk about respect - respecting yourself and everyone around you. We see various news reports on his passing. His manager says he was in the hospital on Friday, and not Monday. That was when he found out that he needed a heart transplant and his brother Deven, who was in the hospital says that he was in so much pain he just wanted it to end for him. His manager gets a call from Kimbo's wife on Monday at 5 PM saying that he's stopped breathing. Baby Slice talks about his dad sleeping in his car and Bellator's machmaker talks about how Kimbo went from nothing to the top of the sport. Dana White talks about how he'd never seen anything like Kimbo before.

"He had his heart, his balls, and a hell of a punch!" Coker talks about Kimbo being the biggest star and someone says Kimbo should be in the Mt. Rushmore of MMA. We see Goldberg's video tribute to Kimbo and Hogan's tweet. Kimbo "in his own words" is next. Kimbo says he wasn't bullied, but he hated bullies and beat up a bully in the 6th grade.

Kimbo talks about growing up in Pine Crest and you could see a body next to the dumpster taking the trash out. He had a killer instinct, but had to be respectful because he had his family. No matter what he did, he had to come back to his family and look at them. Kimbo vs. Mercer was set up, but no one wanted to sanction - but he still won. He loved going back to the projects and meeting his friends for a BBQ. Kimbo's rise to stardom is up next.

Kimbo talks about how fights start out over beef. Chou talks about him crossing over to Nickelodeon and we get fan footage of his first CBS fight. Well, that's one way to get around UFC owning the footage. Kimbo vs. Ken is showcased - first with Bellator clips and then the CBS fight. "Listen here Shitrock, keep eatin' your Wheaties - ain't gonna help ya!" Ha! Big John talks about the takedown and Kimbo thinking about tapping during the choke. Big John talks about the big right being like a sledgehammer, and Kimbo fighting after he could've quit.


Kimbo's manager says after the Ken fight, he and Ken got along. We get post-fight stuff in the medical area with Kimbo saying he was in that choke deep, and he remembers - but he got out. Jimmy Smith says the link from the streets to MMA died with Kimbo. Rampage, Ken, Royce, Kurt Angle, and Rashad talk about Kimbo briefly.

 We see some amusing behind the scenes footage of Kimbo's mic falling off and dancing during a photoshoot. ATT trainer talks about Kimbo getting a small cut and being a big baby about it. The Kimbo-Dada presser is covered. Kimbo makes wacky faces and we see Dana talking about meeting Kimbo for the first time. His manager talks about knowing him from high school and we get more Tweets about him.

Kimbo talks about his son Kevlar being his best Christmas gift. We see a day in the life of Kimbo and see his whole family. Kimbo says that when he was in his '30s, he thought like a 20 year old. At 40, he was where he wanted to be physically and mentally. Kimbo says he wants his kids to be better than he was and we learn that his son Kevlar has autism. We see his son train with a heavy bag, and it's really adorable to see how Kimbo looks after him here.


At Dave and Busters, Kimbo plays some games with his kids and spend time with his grandson. Mick sends a video wish to Kimbo and Mick talks about bonding with Kimbo over them both being the parents of autistic kids. Kimbo talks about taking care of his family by fighting. Scott compared Kimbo to Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee. Kevin Connolly is the least-comfortable person saying ANYTHING in this and it's so awkward. Dana talks about feeling sorry for the family and respecting him. Baby Slice says he'll miss his dad and Big John commends him for being honest. "I believe we live on in the memories of those who remember us." is touching and true. His brother says he'll carry his legacy and he'll see him one day.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

NXT 6-22-16 Rundown

This was a pretty fun show that wasn't amazing, but built up the future nicely. Bayley returned, Nakamura looked like a million bucks, Joe and Asuka shined in music videos, and Austin Aries managed to be both the best face and heel in one segment.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Impact Wrestling 6-22-16 Rundown

The show actually aired as it should this week! We got Hardy-related wackiness, William Corgan being a bit of an asshole, and some fantastic work from Lashley. It's strange that Lashley is peaking at nearly 40, but hey, here we are. The X Title stuff was an absolute joke, and really dropped Bennett and Eddie's stock. "Can he beat THE DJZS OF THE WORLD!?" had me howling though.

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Future of Raw, Impact, and NXT Reviews

I'm now writing those for Inside Pulse - so they won't be on the site formally any longer. The big upside, beyond exposure, is compensation. I love doing blog work, but not being very good at networking means I haven't really grown the audience much and haven't made money on it. There are more important things in this world than money though, and being the richest man in the graveyard isn't going to do anyone much good. I'll basically be throwing in a link to the full-form recap here - and essentially doing what I normally do for boards by offering up a quick recap of big picture thoughts and some screens. I also plan to keep doing the WWE Network PPV recaps both live and archival.

Monday, June 20, 2016

WWE Raw 6-20-16

Dean Ambrose arrives to the building in a cab, and actually pays his fare this time. He forgets the belt, gets it back, and comes into the building. Dean gets a huge pop and "you deserve it" chant. Dean says Seth was the Man, Roman was The Guy, so that makes him The Dude - and you can call him what you want, he's THE CHAMPION. Roman comes out and gets booed. God, just make him a heel - you can make him a character heel by having him be one that justifies the behavior because he was hurt by the people because he sacrificed for his family.

"All the dudes saying I can't wrestle, just relax, take a sip of your beer and shut up!" Wow the butthurt. Shane comes out and makes Roman vs. Seth.  They talk about the draft. "Byron, YOU COULD BE DRAFTED TO ECW!" Paige faces Charlotte tonight for the title, while Sami vs. Owens!?  They fight for a bit mid-ring, then it spills into the crowd. KO dominates before the break. Sami wins with a fluke cradle. That certainly was a match. KO kicks his ass afterwards. Owens goes for a powerbomb of the stage, but gets double-legged and pounded on. No. 1 contender matches have now been made SO MUCH EASIER TO DESCRIBE as a Winner Faces Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Heavyweight Title match.

Big Johnny comes out and Shane sends him and his bright red suit away. Shame! Enzo and Cass get the rub from Shane by him dancing with them, and then they beat the Vaudevillains in no time flat. Baron beats Ryder, who gets some offense including a nice flying elbow. WWE China recap.

AJ cuts a promo on Cena and says he dreamed of beating Cena - but not with The Club's help. He demands an apology from them and "gets" it, and we'll get Cena vs. Karl next. Not much to the match, as AJ jumps Cena after an AA. Becky cuts a promo on being turned on by everyone, then gets beaten up by Nattie.


Paige cuts a promo on Charlotte, and then gets mocked by Dana and Charlotte. Big match build on commentary. Dana helps Charlotte and the ref sees it and doesn't DQ Charlotte. Natural Selections ends it. Well, that was a thing. SASHA RETURNS to a reasonable pop. Sasha and Dana fight on the floor and Sasha KOes her, then attacks Charlotte and holds the belt up before she and Paige send the heels packing. Wyatts are next!

Bray gets a "welcome back" chant. Well, I wasn't expecting the Wyatt Family vs. New Day, but...yeah it's fresh at least. They talk about Rowan having a great big booty. Bray puts a spell on Woods. Bray sings "New Day Falls". Backlund and D-Young segment with Backlund telling D-Young to not take advice from anyone - and he doesn't give advice, he gives orders. Bob Backlund appears to be aging in reverse thanks to being on TV.

Lana and Rusev are mid-ring. Titus gets a rematch because...Rusev insulted him in front of his kids? Titus kicks his ass and that's it. This was fun though - Titus worked really stiff and they at least gave a reason to have a rematch and make Titus look like he could win. Miz and Maryse are on the set and he talks about eating with the common folk. And then he berates a PA for not getting them quail for the protein. Glorious.

Shane meets backstage with Jericho, who says he beat Dean two weeks ago on SD. Well, maybe if you didn't job him out constantly, half the roster wouldn't have a valid claim to a title shot. Jericho says that Shane is worse than Steph and then gets shot down and made to look like a fool. Wonderful. Dean comes down to do commentary for the main event.

Seth and Roman have a solid little match here. Great yakuza kick on the floor by Roman to Seth. Roman eats a sleeper though. Sadly, no Roman's sleeping chant. Dean says that Roman's Samoan head will take a few shots to really affect him. Pescado by Seth. BIG DOGGY BOMB gets 2. Seth dives into a Superman punch that hit pretty nicely for 2. Roman eats a boot to counter the spear, but kicks Seth's anyway. Flying knee and the kneeling superkick get 2. High Fly Flow misses! Drive by hits! They fight on the floor a ton and the count's broken before a spear hits Seth on the table. Double countout!

Shane comes out and says they need a number one contender for Battleground. Dean says he'll fight them both in the same night - done! Shane says okay, but it will be a triple threat match. Well, I figured they'd wait until Summerslam - but this works too. Good stuff here. Not an amazing show overall, but this is all well-done. "DEAN AMBROSE PEDIGREE!" or Dirty Deeds, as Roman tries to jump him. Seth goes for Roman, but Dean hits him with it too! Boy, they should've given Dean the belt sooner - or just booked him better for the past two years. Either way, they've done right by Deano for the last 24 hours.

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