Wrestle Wipe 2020: January

– A bug in WWE 2K20 causes the game to crash as soon as your system clock changes over to 2020. Players needed to change the system clock to 2019 to play again. More brilliant flaws for a game rated 43% on Metacritic.

– The Joey Mercury ROH tweet storm hits defcon 2 as BJ Whitmer announces that he is divorcing Kelly Klein amidst Mercury posting even more DMs, PMs, messages, texts and phone numbers.

– Chris Brookes announces that he will be moving to Japan and working with DDT for a year, which is a much better option than getting squashed in dark matches in front of lifeless crowds.

– Gabe Sapolsky tweets about how indie promoters should take care of their rings. He then goes on a blocking spree when people bring up Peter Kasaa and the numerous other occasions that EVOLVE’s rings have broken.

– Some very serious allegations pertaining to Rory Gulak come to light and the authorities were notified. Mike Quakenbush gets rid of Rory and cuts ties with him as soon as all this comes out followed shorty by Rory’s Twitter account being deactivated.

– Despite placing 4th in his G1 block, Naitio goes on to win the IC and IWGP straps at Wrestle Kingdom. Kota Ibushi won the 2019 G1 and went on to lose twice at Wrestle Kingdom, including a loss to Jay White. Ibushi was robbed.

– KENTA closed out Wrestle Kingdom by sitting atop of Naito’s chest with the two main belts and sends the WWE-defence squad into overdrive as they attack anyone who critiques his abysmal WWE tenure in comparison to his NJPW positioning.

– After wrestling his final two matches at Wrestle Kingdom, Jushin Liger has a wonderful retirement ceremony at New Years Dash. Hiroshi Tahanhashi even sings his theme tune, karaoke style.

– Jon Ian, the iconic voice of PWG’s early years, sadly passes away.

– Rey Mysterio gets hurt on RAW but instead of Andrade being able to organically improv a finish, the ref directs traffic with all the subtlety of a brick just so Rey can get counted out. Homogenised Wrestling Entertainment.

– The 8/1 Dynamite feels like it was written by Vince Russo. The Dark Order & Nightmare Collective are shitting all over the gaff. Brandi has a disastrous time on commentary. 63 year old DDP is beating up MFJ’s crew . The women’s division is a mess. LUTHER DEBUTS. Fucking Luther.

– Despite a horrible edition of Dynamite, AEW beat NXT in the ratings for the week. We all fear the worse and cling to hope that Y2Khan can save us. Interestingly, Meltzer tried not to blame the show’s shortcomings on the AEW EVPs.

– WWE advertises the up-coming Finn Balor vs Ilja Dragunov match as “NXT’s Prince vs The Menacing Muscovite”.

– The WON reported that the former Sin Cara, Cinta de Oro, was the new Director of International Development for the Wolverhampton Wanderers. But…he wasn’t. It was a Feliz Dia De Los Inocentes prank (a Spanish equivalent to April Fools Day). Dave had been gotten again.

– The day before she is to challenge for the IMPACT World championship, Tessa Blanchard sends out a tweet saying that women should support each other. This creates a shit storm of women wrestlers claiming that Tessa has continually done the opposite of this, including bullying and calling La Rosa Negra a racial slur.

– Just for clarity, people in the business who publicly defend Tessa include: Daga (her fiance), TJ Perkins (wrestling’s biggest PewDiepPie fan) and Moose (Oh boy…). Also this controversy also opens the flood gates on those mutant die-hard Impact supporters. It’s ugly.

– After a pretty good match with Jordan Devlin at Takeover: Blackpool II, Tyler Bate poses on the corner as his best mates, Triple H and William Regal, applaud and look down on him from a balcony.

– WWE’s destruction of the WALTER we all knew and loved continues, as he eats a visual pin after a ref bump, needs help from his cronies to win matches and is booked to go toe-to-toe with Joe fucking Coffee at Takeover.

– PWI Insider reports that Marty Scurll has not only re-signed with ROH, but he’s also taking a more backstage role that’ll see him have a lot of control in booking the company going forward. This comes as a surprise to most, and does not sit well with the AEW/BTE hardcores.

– Despite accusations of being a terrible person flying in from every direction, Tessa Blanchard is still treated like a big babyface in Texas for Hard To Kill and she defeats fellow problemat Sami Callihan for the IMPACT World championship. Tessa gets on the mic afterwards and says “I’m not a saint!” and “Nobody’s perfect!” whilst the crowd cheered.

– “I have one of the strongest minds that I’ve ever known.”- Tessa Blanchard, in her post-title victory promo. I think she was DM’ing with Sid for pointers.

– David Starr and Gabe Sapolsky get into a online argument about paying wrestlers properly. Gabe goes on a MASSIVE rant where he brings up Starr crying at Auschwitz, blocks everyone who calls him out on this and then locks his Twitter account.

– During a conference call, Triple H makes a joke about Paige “having kids she doesn’t even know about”. Paige tweets unfavorably about this and it obviously went as well as you’d expect. Trips apologies for the joke soon afterwards.

– A Dark Order vignette airs on Dynamite with the “exalted one” talking in a deeply disguised voice. It was quickly reverse-engineered by the great minds of Wrestling Twitter and the voice is revealed to be Raven’s…

– AEW sign a multi-year extension deal with TNT (reportedly worth $175 Million) to continue Dynamite through 2023, which includes a secondary TV show.

– PROGRESS attempt to undo 2019’s year of bad will by crowning the up-and-coming Cara Noir as their champion after NXT-UK’s Eddie Dennis forfeits the strap due to injury.

– Rumours begin circulating that Bully Ray may be moving out of his ROH management role, starting with him no longer handling the Women Of Honor division. This is met with sighs of relief across the board.

– Several big NXT posters are defaced with “AEW” and “BE ELITE” being spray painted all over in massive letters. Thanks for cementing those basement dwelling virgin stereotypes, lads. Much appreciated.

– It comes out that Sargent Slaughter isn’t actually a vet and hasn’t served in any form of military. Which would be fine if it’s just for a wrestling gimmick, but Slaughter had been maintaining this facade in shoot interviews and in the real world for decades.

– Baron Corbin logs on to have a go about AEW in an attempt to point out how fickle and stupid he thinks it is, and refers to AEW fans as “Neckbeards”. Now remember this, because it will become very importnat later. Also, good to know that Baron watches AEW instead of NXT.

– A tryout form for Women Of Honor is revealed to have very relevant questions such as how many children you have and what your marital status is. After a hammering on Twitter, ROH removes those questions from the forms.

– PROGRESS posts a video of William Eaver doing a fallaway slam into the crowd, and this stirs up a bit of controversy about safety at PROGRESS shows, and whether William gave the audience enough time/notice to move out of the way. PROGRESS then deleted the video (very punk rock).

– Psicosis II has a bit of a fracas with Konnan outside of the Mexico City Impact tapings. Psicosis II gives Konnan a slap in the confrontation, which came about due to some remarks Konnan made about Psicosis II being unable to get booked anywhere big.

– IMPACT gets banned by Twitch for airing what is essentially softcore porn in a segment with RVD and his two girlfriends. I was a teenager during the peak days of Channel 5’s Friday Night Mucky Movie, so I can confirm the softcore quality of the segment.

– WWE hires mid-00’s lower-carder Sylvain Grenier to be a backstage producer, for some reason.

– Asuka escapes with her life when she happens to be at Fashion Show Mall when a shooting goes down. Three people are sent to hospital in the incident.

– A new WWE UK TV deal is set that will see highlight versions of Raw and Smackdown be shown on free TV for the first time ever in the UK. Paramount Network will also be showing NXT-UK at midnight.

– Tessa Blanchard issued a statement about the allegations of racism and bullying against her. Despite a number of corroborating reports from notable women wrestlers, her statement doesn’t include any apology but instead denies any and all allegations.

– Cody Hall hammers another nail into the coffin of his wrestling career as he whines on Twitter about “indy guys” not finishing their matches and “crying in the back”.

– Superstar Billy Graham attends Rocky Johnson’s funeral and says that both Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson acted very weirdly and aggressively. This includes Patterson calling Rocky Johnson a “motherfucker” during his speech. Harry Smith & Melzter corroborated the story.

– WWE issues an announcement to all of it’s staff and talent that the WWE NXT Women’s Championship will be referred to and described as simply the “NXT Championship”.

– Reports from this month’s round of NXT-UK tapings do not sound promising, as shock horror the crowds are dead, bored and don’t want to actually be there.

– Mere days after the news that Scurll has signed on as ROH booker, several big New Japan names are on tap for their WrestleMania weekend show, mending an important bridge between the two companies. ROH seems to have the same elixir of life that Impact uses.

– Before a PROGRESS show, a message comes up on their video screen that says “video piracy is killing indy wrestling”. The fucking gall and irony pouring out that message drowns me.

– Chris Brookes has break away from his Twitter personality just to settle down a bunch of entitled Twitter accounts who are moaning about the Schadenfreude shows not being uploaded to a streaming platform & other weird, pointless shit.

– During a Wrestling Observer Radio interview, Darby Allin was asked to reflect on his choice between WWE and AEW, to which he responded “…205 Live or like proper respect as a performer and as a human being?”.

– ITV shuts down it’s Box Office service, and there goes AEW’s only traditional UK PPV supplier. The AEW-ITV deal has been a colossal disappointment in AEW’s UK coverage, which makes Cody’s “Our UK deal blows the WWE’s out of the water!” remarks last year look awful in hindsight.

– Seth Rollins has to delete an Instagram post depicting druids, as his reputation on the internet is so soiled that people thought it was some kind of racist KKK statement. It turns out that Seth was just promoting “The Boy & The Bear”, his friend’s coffee company.

– Grizzled Young Veterans are pulled from a TNT show on four days notice. It’s to go and work the Dusty Rhodes Classic finals, so it’s not as bad as being pulled to work a dark match or get squashed at NXT-UK. Why any promoter still books NXT-UK talent though I’ll never know.

– Chris Wilson, aka Justice Pain, sadly passed away. He was one of CZW’s original home grown talents and a main eventer for the company during CZW’s glory years.

– Worlds Collide, an NXT vs NXT-UK show, opens with audio of Winston Churchill’s “We shall fight them on the beaches” World War 2 speech, and it’s shown with clips of Imperium that basically equates them to the Nazis. The year is 2020, I definitely double checked.

– Ilja Dragunov makes his entrance at Worlds Collide to the sound of crickets. Just under two years prior, he got a tremendous reaction for his return at wXw’s 16 Carat which had the likes of Kevin Owens and Steve Austin talking about him.

– Santino Marella appears in the women’s rumble dressed as his Santina character. Whilst being tone deaf in 2020, it still had the legs to work if he was actually eliminated by a woman…which he wasn’t, as he eliminated himself.

– Making his massive return to the WWE, 90’s heart throb and the face of WWE’s prime years Todd Pettengill made an appearance on WWE’s Royal Rumble Watchalong.

– Oh, and also Edge makes his own triumphant return to the WWE by entering the Royal Rumble, despite constantly denying that he was ever returning to wrestling.

– Despite Edge’s magnificent re-debut, the WWE production crew fuck up astronomically by focusing on constant crowd shot’s instead of Edge’s entrance and thus missing his first spear (14 camera cuts in 20 seconds. Fucking hell). AJ Styles also injures his own shoulder when taking Edge’ spear.

– Matt Riddle enters the rumble and is almost immediately eliminated by Baron Corbin. Whether this was to garner some non-existent “HEAT” for Corbin, or because Riddle has heat for daring to go after a match with Goldberg and Lesnar, it’s a fucking backwards move by WWE.

– It also comes out that Riddle and Brock had an exchange of words backstage, with Lesnar pulling Riddle aside and telling him to stop tweeting at him for a match as it’ll never happen. WWE’s republican alpha males not understanding the ripped, laid-back, super high bad ass? Of course.

– NXT Twitter has a bit of a mini-meltdown when they discover that Jaxson Ryker is a Trump supporter. Yes, the 40 year old Christian white man from North Carolina who has Old Glory plastered on his wrestling gear is a MAGA guy…what a surprise. Shocked I tell you, I am shocked.

– WWE’s attempts to buy into a Japanese promotion are hindered again by NOAH and DDT joining forces under the Cyber Agent corporate umbrella, with Tokyo Sports reporting that NOAH is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cyber Agent. Along with Bushiroad adding Stardom alongside New Japan, WWE are running out of places to hassle.

– Clickbait shitehawks Ringsidenews_ has a Twitter meltdown and gets suspended when they got weirdly obsessed with Sean Sapp, Meltzer, Alvarez etc and kept tweeting disparaging remarks about them, as well as some other awful stuff.

– WWE uploads an embarrassing video of Deonna Purrazzo attacking Shotzi Blackheart backstage that looks like it merely mildly annoyed Shotzi rather than actually hurt her. You can replicate the same attack yourself by simply leaning against a fire escape and slightly bouncing off it.

– Rob Lynch cuts an ill-advised promo that references his extremely problematic ex-tag partner at a CATCH Pro-Wrestling event. Doug Williams and CPW say they never gave Rob the permission to do this and Rob makes an apology on Twitter.

– Kota Ibushi is pulled from several New Japan shows due to having Mallory Weiss syndrome, a condition that I can’t properly explain as I’m an underachieving slob, but it basically means an awful lot of internal damage to the stomach and esophagus.

– Chris Brookes goes off on PROGRESS during a Twitch stream, leading to a Twitter argument between himself and PROGRESS/NXT-UK’s Glen Joseph. It turns out to be a worked-shoot to get Chris on the next show, and PROGRESS still don’t look good coming out of it as they practically made themselves the heels.

– So PROGRESS books the most popular wrestler in the UK at short notice against their new babyface champion at a show that travelling fans will have difficultly attending as it’s in Cardiff. Well done.

– Andrade gets snapped on a Wellness Violation and suffers 30 days suspension.

– At a TNT deathmatch show, DJ Hyde (the Tommy Wiseau of deathmatch wrestling) appears in a pre-taped video to explain that Tournament Of Death will be hitting UK shores for the first time in 2021. CZW sucks these days but I am cautiously optimistic that a UK TOD actually happens.

– WWE co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson (the brains behind the two most lucrative TV deals in WWE history) are fired by Vince McMahon. No real reason is given except for “conflicting strategic visions for the company.” WWE stock plummets hard after the announcement.

– WWE cuts back on live events with the company line being “to give wrestlers time off”. Sure thing, lads. Also most of the talent didn’t find out about this big change until they saw their February booking sheets, which slashes their pay on very short notice.

– Despite no confirmation on the matter, there are rumours abound that WWE is receiving what amounts to penny-change from USA for NXT. Some reports even have the figure down as low as $0. Lets hope those ratings make it worthwhile…

– Bret Hart reveals that he is battling a form of skin cancer. Stay strong, Hitman.

– CIMA and T-Hawk take aggressive liberties with luchadores Dragon Bane and El Hijo de Canis Lupus during an IWRG match. The cause of the issue probably boils down to CIMA being spat on by the luchas, so he fucking pummels them as revenge.

– After taking a sabbatical from wXw in October 2018, it’s announced that Christian Jakobi would not be returning to the company (but will remain a shareholder). Christian Jakobi initially left just as the wXw/WWE relationship was heating up in 2018 and wXw cancelled the weekly Shotgun series.

– AEW vs NXT results after the last Wednesday Night War of January 2020: AEW won every ratings battle and leads 13-3-1 overall.

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