All posts filed under: Pro Wrestling

The Most Insane Spectacle in The History of Wrestling – AEW’s Stadium Stampede – Going Over

What can ten professional wrestlers create in an empty 80,000 seat arena? Well, we now have the answer to that question: absolute entertainment. On 23 rd May 2020, All Elite Wrestling held their annual Double or Nothing pay-per-view event—headlined by the first ever 5 vs 5 Stadium Stampede match. This match would see a ring placed in the middle of a gridiron football field, yet allows the entire stadium to be the battleground for what ultimately amounts to wrestling’s answer to Marvel’s Civil War. The idea of this match ultimately sounds silly: wrestlers brawling across a massive football stadium. What can they really do that couldn’t be done in a standard wrestling environment? Well, the answer was beyond this writer’s imagination. It was simply the most insane spectacle in professional wrestling history. The match has been brewing since the inception of AEW’s weekly program, AEW Dynamite, when The Inner Circle first formed and laid The Elite to waste in the main event of the first episode—in chaotic fashion. Over the course of the past eight …

The Future of AEW – Media Call with Cody Rhodes – Going Over

On 19th February 2020, All Elite Wrestling held a media conference call with Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes. Members of the media were invited onto the call to ask questions regarding the future of All Elite Wrestling, and we at SnapThirty were lucky enough to be invited to partake in the conference call as well. There were several very interesting pieces of information divulged by Cody during the Q&A portion of the call. Interesting to note was that Cody spoke in detail about the talent development and scouting process of AEW. He announced that he has opened a wrestling school which will be called ‘The Nightmare Factory’ and confirmed that AEW signees Sadie Gibbs and Anthony Agogo will be training at the school. Furthermore, he confirmed that he will be scouting talent at the NCAA Wrestling Tournament with Taz later this year. When asked his opinion on who is the currently most underrated wrestler in All Elite Wrestling, Cody immediately said Jack Evans, member of the tag team ‘The Hybrid Two’. He said that not …

The Beauty Through The Pain – The Ten Lashings of Cody Rhodes – Going Over

On the 5th of February episode of All Elite Wrestling’s weekly television program AEW: Dynamite, a monumental storyline angle took place. After weeks of build up and bargaining between Cody Rhodes and his former friend (turned bitter enemy) Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF), the terms upon which Cody would get his match with MJF were set. Cody was unable to lay his hands on MJF until said proposed match; Cody would have to face MJF’s bodyguard Wardlow in a steel cage match; and most curious of all was that Cody would have to survive 10 lashings at the hands of MJF on live television, as MJF put it, “In front of his friends, family and god.” It was during this instant classic angle that All Elite Wrestling would truly define themselves as the alternative to WWE that they had always promised to be. While WWE is so often a product driven by the destination, AEW has set itself apart as being a product that puts equal, if not more, focus on the journey to said destination. …

A Date With Destiny – The Story of Tetsuya Naito and KENTA – Going Over

On the 9th of February 2020, Osaka Jo-Hall was the stage of the most anticipated wrestling bout in recent memory. ‘The Ingobernable One’ Tetsuya Naito put both his IWGP World Heavyweight championship and IWGP Intercontinental Championship on the line against the most hated man in Japan: KENTA. Why was this match so hotly anticipated by puroresu fans? Simple really: the fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling wanted to see Tetsuya Naito beat the hell out of KENTA. The paths that have led both men to one another can be traced back to the years 2013 and 2014: one year that would hold wild success, and the other utter devastation for both men. In 2013, Naito would win his first G1 Climax tournament and ultimately go on to challenge IWGP World champion Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom the following January 4th, in 2014. At the time, Naito was portraying the character of the Stardust Genius, a ring technician and clean cut babyface. Following a negative fan reaction to a confrontation between Naito and Okada, the board …

Fire Pro Wrestling World – Review (PC)

If there’s one thing you may have noticed on SnapThirty, it’s that at least once a year, we are absolutely floored by Japanese pro wrestling, or Puroresu if we were to use its sanctified term in the Land of the Rising Sun. Sanctified is probably the right word here to describe Puroresu, particularly New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The pop culture barrier-breaking sports entertainment that dominates the global perception of professional wrestling is primarily thanks to the efforts of WWE, which has transformed wrestling into an all-encompassing global cultural phenomenon. Honestly, if the entirety of the world can get along simply by the virtue of sharing a passion for a glorified soap opera featuring intense physicality, then I have yet to see a better avenue to achieve world peace. Puroresu, unlike sports entertainment, is very much set in time-honoured tradition. For better or for worse, it is set in its old ways by treating the art of pro wrestling not as some form of entertainment, but a true disciplined lifestyle, akin to that of choosing …

NJPW Dominion 2017: Okada vs Omega II – The Greatest Story Ever Retold

There is a difference between good and great, a lot of things that are good are absolutely stellar but what’s truly great is what stands the test of time forever. You’re only as good as your last gig, and sometimes we have to make a choice and find the passion and drive to create something that is truly larger than life, to create something that is quite simply immortal. Wrestling as an entertainment platform is one that melds fiction and reality to create something that suspends our belief better than any form of entertainment, there is nothing that can compare to sports entertainment. Whether it is WWE or NJPW, the lore underlying them has a life of its own. It’s like anime in the real world, there’s no better way to put it. Earlier this year I, and the rest of the wrestling world, had the pleasure of being absolutely blown away by the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11, an absolute classic between The Rainmaker Kazuchika Okada and Bullet Club Boss Kenny Omega. The …

Wrestle Kingdom 11 Was Bullet Hell

There are times when I am glad to be proven wrong, and Wrestle Kingdom 11 made me feel silly for having such low and cynical expectations going into it. Not only was it miles better than last year’s somewhat lukewarm Wrestle Kingdom 10, but it also blew the superb Wrestle Kingdom 9 clear out of the water. Wrestle Kingdom 11 taught me to never doubt the innovation and potential of underdogs. It also helped that the English localisation was great thanks to the solid play by play commentary from Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino. A huge improvement over the disastrous English commentary panel in Wrestle Kingdom 10 which featured Yoshi Tatsu of all people. Despite New Japan Pro Wrestling losing most of their top stars to WWE, Wrestle Kingdom 11 proved to be the best iteration yet all thanks to a fresh and unpredictable wildcard. Wrestle Kingdom 11 literally blindsided me with a main event that I am confident in calling as among the timeless classics of the modern era. The strong main event was complemented …

Starting the New Year with Wrestle Kingdom 11

  Before Wrestlemania, and hell before the Royal Rumble, there is no wrestling event that kick starts the New Year quite like Wrestle Kingdom by New Japan Pro Wrestling. Having become more widespread since Wrestle Kingdom 9, thanks to localisations efforts and the inclusion of an English color commentary team (which was great in Wrestle Kingdom 9 but certainly left A LOT to be desired in Wrestle Kingdom 10). We are now getting ready for Wrestle Kingdom 11, set to take place on January 4 2017 (January 5 for those living in the Outback) inside the one and only historic Tokyo Dome. It’s been said many times before, but this is Japan’s equivalent of Wrestlemania being held in New York’s  Madison Square Garden. Wrestle Kingdom 11 certainly has a lot of buzz for it, but the star power is lacking… thanks mainly due to some of the biggest NJPW stars of the last 5 years now becoming fixtures of WWE. So much of what made Wrestle Kindgom amazing is now missing, with the likes of …

KARATE by BabyMetal is the Official Theme Song of NXT TakeOver: The End

I can’t believe I am typing this. Japanese kawai metal band, BabyMetal, is larger than life as it is, and they have silenced nay sayers and broken barriers in ways no one could have anticipated. I picked up their latest CD from JB Hi-Fi just the other day. There’s more I want to say, and believe or not I have a special article dedicated to BabyMetal in the works, but in the meantime here’s a piece of news that simply needs to be shared: A BabyMetal song is being used as the official theme for an American wrestling event, and it makes perfect sense. NXT TakeOver, which is the PPV series of WWE‘s NXT brand, has quickly become a must see event whenever it is held. So far there has yet to be a bad NXT TakeOver as each event has surpassed the last by leaps and bounds. We’ve written about NXT here at SnapThirty before, because after all, NXT is the only place where you can find three of the hottest Japanese wrestling stars: Hideo …

Shinsuke Nakamura Officially Joins WWE, First Match Against Sami Zayn

There’s been a lot of mumbling in the wrestling rumour mill lately but now things have come to fruition in the most spectacular fashion. Earlier this month Wrestle Kingdom 10 took place, which saw a phenomenal match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. Just hours after the event rumours started going around that AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and a few other New Japan stars had given their notice and accepted offers from WWE. Not long after, Shinsuke Nakamura vacated his IWGP Intercontinental Championship which further added fuel to the rumours. However, following the historic debut of AJ Styles in WWE, it’s now been confirmed that Shinsuke Nakamura has signed with the WWE and will be performing for their thriving and popular NXT brand. Shinsuke joins the likes of Asuka and Kenta as part of WWE‘s ever expanding roster of international stars. Shinsuke Nakamura is a huge acquisition for the company, and his planned debut match will take place at the NXT Takeover PPV in Dallas, Texas. His first opponent? None …

Wrestle Kingdom 10 Was a Night of Redemption and Triumph

No wrestling promotion kick starts the New Year with a bang quite like New Japan Pro Wrestling with their traditional Tokyo Dome wrestling extravaganza, which has for the last decade gone by the apt Wrestle Kingdom moniker. Wrestle Kingdom is quite simply wrestling royalty, and easily the closest alternative to WWE’s Wrestlemania showcase of wrestling immortality. Last year marked the very first English localisation of Wrestle Kingdom, with Wrestle Kingdom 9 delivering an amazing night of superb wrestling action, all made accessible to fans outside Japan thanks to the great efforts of the English commentary team that comprised of Matt Striker and the legendary Jim Ross. You can of course read our full coverage of the amazing Wrestle Kingdom 9 and how much we enjoyed nearly every match on the card. 2016 started off with Wrestle Kingdom 10 on January 4th, and it was a night filled with familiar faces and champions, but more importantly the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 10 was a rematch of the unforgettable closer of Wrestle Kingdom 9: Hiroshi Tanahashi …

Tanahashi and Okada to Clash Once Again at Wrestle Kingdom 10

The planets have aligned once more for the tenth Wrestle Kingdom event by New Japan Pro Wrestling, which is set to take place on January 4, 2016 and will once again kickstart the new year as one of the biggest wrestling events in the world (that isn’t Wrestlemania). As per tradition, Wrestle Kingdom 10 will be held inside the historic Tokyo Dome. While there is still a good three or so months to go until the PPV extravaganza, the main event has been set in stone already. The main event of Wrestle Kingdom 10 will feature a rematch that I quite honestly wasn’t expecting to happen so soon: Kazuchika “Rain Maker” Okaka will go one on one against his greatest rival in Hiroshi Tanahashi over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. At Wrestle Kingdom 9, Tanahashi walked in as the defending champion and successfully walked out with the championship in hand after what was one of the best matches of 2014. Tanahashi needed to hit nearly ten of his signature High Fly Flows to make it happen, and challenger …

Asuka Makes WWE Debut as a Worthwhile Addition to a Flourishing Women’s Division

WWE NXT is the place where wrestling stars are born, and even seasoned veterans are born anew when they step inside the NXT ring. Wrestling in the independent scene for nearly a decade, the performer formerly known as Kana made her stunning debut on NXT‘s special extravaganza: TakeOver Respect in a match against Dana Brooke. Asuka made a special entrance while donning a Japanese doll mask, and it didn’t take long to see why she is one of the most respected women in the wrestling business today. Asuka goes into a match with killer instinct, all with an adorable smile on her face. She’s a living,breathing Yandere if we ever saw one. She’s adorable and also a beast, which makes her very scary. Asuka ended her debut match with a hold made famous by the legendary Bob Backlund: The Crossface Chickenwing. It’s a painful cringe-inducing hold for sure, and not many people latch it in with the same ferocity as Bob Backlund did during his prime, but Asuka is probably the only person to ever come close. In …

Jushin “Thunder” Liger Stuns Wrestling World with Impressive WWE Debut

On WWE’s NXT TakerOver: Brooklyn PPV, wrestling fans were graced with the presence of a legendary Japanese performer and for the very first time too. Many great things have happened in the WWE, and many Japanese wrestling legends have performed and been honoured by the biggest wrestling company in the world,  but to see the legendary Jushin “Thunder” Liger perform in front of a sold out Brooklyn (New York) crowd in 2015 was unreal. If you were a complete newcomer to Japanese wrestling, and just casually watching the NXT product, you would have thought that this mysterious wrestler, dressed in a superhero (almost Ultraman) like garb was just one of the young performers on the card… well then you’d be wrong. Jushin “Thunder” Liger has been been a professional wrestler for nearly three decades, of course this is merely a persona and character, surely different wrestlers have assumed the persona over the last 30 years? Nope. Jushin “Thunder” Liger (even to my own surprise) has always been portrayed by the one wrestler who is now …

Puroresu Getting Some Spotlight During Wrestlemania Season

If I have to explain to you what Wrestlemania is then clearly you’re not from planet Earth. Whether you watch pro wrestling or not, Wrestlemania season has been causing pop culture shock waves since the 1980s. The 31st annual Wrestlemania will take place in a matter of days now, with plenty of festivities leading up to it, including the Hall of Fame Ceremony. While Wrestlemania is indeed an American (Western) pop culture extravaganza, this year is a little special because Japanese pro wrestling is getting some well deserved props. Not only do we have one of the hottest Japanese wrestlers performing at Wrestlemania, but the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will recognize and immortalize the legacy of one of the greatest Japanese performers in the history of professional wrestling. Let’s talk about the present and future right now: Hideo Itami. This Japanese grappling striker made his debut on NXT, WWE’s developmental program, and has quickly become a must see performer. Formerly known as Kenta, this man already has a well established repertoire in Japanese wrestling industry …

NJPW New Beginning Was The Beginning of the End

When your first PPV is a sure fire contender for Wrestling Event of the Year, like Wrestle Kingdom 9 was for New Japan Pro Wrestling, it sets a pretty tough precedent to be gauged on. Rather than saving best for last, NJPW unleashed their very best at the dawn of the New Year, creating a pretty tough act to follow up. Of course, the two events that took place on February 11 and 14, collectively and aptly known as New Beginning, marked a pretty important place in Japanese wrestling history. New Beginning was never going to be the same excess grandeur as Wrestle Kingdom 9, but as the name puts it so eloquently, the events that took place on 11th and 14th February respectively marked the beginning of something new, for better or for worse. The first event held on 11th February took place in Osaka, main evented by a battle for the prestigious IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Hiroshi Tanahashi was quite literally on top of the wrestling world, defeating The Rainmaker last month in what …

NJPW’s ‘New Beginning’ Events To Be Headlined By Tanahashi vs Styles Championship Rematch and Possible Air Guitar Solo

Following the epic Wrestle Kingdom event at the Tokyo Dome on January 4th, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s next major line-up of events comes in the way of the ‘New Beginning’ events taking place in Osaka and Sendai across two days on February 11th and 14th respectively. The events are set to stream on the New Japan World online streaming service live. The events are shaping up quite nicely with a total of 8 championship matches spread out across both days including the long anticipated return match between former champion and sinister leader of the Bullet Club, AJ Styles and current champion, national hero and professional air guitarist, Hiroshi Tanahashi. The match ups for the events are as follows: NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA (2/11) IWGP Heavyweight Championship Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. AJ Styles IWGP Tag Team Championship Goto & Shibata (c) vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Kenny Omega (c) vs. Ryusuki Taguchi IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship reDRagon (c) vs. The Time Splitters vs. The Young Bucks NEW BEGINNING IN SENDAI …

Wrestle Kingdom 9 Was Wrestling Royalty

Click here to read our preview of the event.  Nothing could have prepared us for the incredible show that was Wrestle Kingdom 9 by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The first real localization of this Japanese pop culture phenomenon courtesy of Jeff Jarret and Global Force Wrestling. On ringside you had Jim Ross and Matt Striker calling the action for English speaking audiences, doing their very best to tell the stories and break down the language barrier. On 4 January 2015, NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 kick started the year with what is already the best show of 2015. Although that obviously doesn’t mean much at this point, which is why it pleases me to say that Wrestle Kindgom 9 is among the finest wrestling shows in recent memory, if not in the history of this global industry itself. Wrestle Kingdom 9 had the glitz, glamour, and production values of a star-studded Wrestlemania, and that’s no light analogy. But this was no Wrestlemania look-alike, because Wrestle Kingdom 9 embodies the sheer uniqueness and richness of Japanese wrestling, …

Gear Up for NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 9

  This website is all about Japanese pop culture, and you’ve seen this place cover music, anime, video games, and manga… so what’s this pro wrestling doing in your Nippon culture haven? Don’t worry, we won’t be discussing the CM Punk Retrieval Arc any time soon… but we do want to bring your attention to the wonderful world of Japanese grappling. It’s not surprising that nearly everyone associates professional wrestling as a defining feature of the North American sports and entertainment industry, and of course most people would also appreciate the Mexican heritage of the phenomenon given the fascination with the athletic styling of Lucha Libre (and lest we forget Jack Black’s take on the art form in Nacho Libre). That said, to say that pro wrestling is as deeply embedded in Japanese history and culture just as it is in North America, Mexico, and even Great Britain, would not be an overstatement at all. In fact, Japan has such a huge pro wrestling industry that it has has dedicated fans all over the country from all generations. …