WrestleWipe 2020: February

– The main event of the February 1st Smackdown is a 6-man tag where the loser has to eat dog food. This match also involves Baron Corbin.

– New Japan remind us what professional wrestling over the course of February with their New Beginning tour that featured Jon Moxley vs Minoru Suzuki, Hiromu Takahashi vs Ryu Lee and Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay. All incredible matches, all completely different from each other. Unfortunately, one of those matches is Jay White vs SANADA. You can’t win’em all…

– WWE hold meetings with NXT talent about the importance of not spilling the beans about company issues, small or large, to the wrestling media. They’re really trying to cover that stink.

– In what may be the peak of gross deathmatch wrestling, Orin Veidt slams Masashi Takeda onto a board of kitchen knives and the match is immediately stopped due to the aftermath. Takeda needed 50 stitches on his back and arms.

– Tim Thatcher is snatched away by WWE and appears in photos at the performance centre. We mourn the loss of another pillar of the BritWres/EuroGraps scene. We’re happy that Tim is getting paid, but we aren’t happy at WWE hoarding talent in a bloated roster they have no intention of using.

– Killer Kross also reports to the WWE Performance Centre and we’re mostly cool with that one as Kross had been hammering away on Impact for ages. It also means that we might get that Batista match that he asked for.

– Both the Kross and Thatcher signings are reported by Ryan Satin on WWE Backstage, where Satin refers to Thatcher as being an original member of Imperium. Oh fuck off.

– Jazzy Gabert opens up about asking for her WWE/NXT-UK release. Her reasoning? In an interview with Wrestling Inc she said that the sacrifice she was putting into NXT-UK was not worth it to jeopardise her health, and the low pay she received solidified her belief that it wasn’t worth it.

– WWE file a trademark for the recently released Viktor of the Ascension, likely so he can’t use the name on the indies. I’m sure he’s heartbroken.

– Mustafa Ali, once a really promising figure on 205 Live and Smackdown, tweets out “12.13.19”, which just so happens to be the last time he was used on TV. As of this time, he still hasn’t been used on TV and his last match was 7th Feb.

– Jim Cornette burns one of the only bridges he has left when he has a MASSIVE falling out with Dave Meltzer over trivial opinions on Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Orange Cassidy. Cornette’s massively obsessed fans don’t help matters with the constant snitch tagging.

– After the firing of their two most important executives and the stock plummeting into the ground like a fucking dart, the WWE conference call went as well as you’d imagine. Vince gave no real insight, he talked about having “broad shoulders”, the stakeholders were worried about his XFL involvement & there’s talk of PPV’s being removed from the network.

– The WWE 10-K filings reveal that WWE has 300 talents attached to a contract, which is double the amount from 2015.

– Former WWF wrestler Emmett Bryan Clark Jr. (Adam Bomb) was arrested and faces various narcotics charges. His partner in crime? Dennis Miccolis, the original keyboardist for the band The Buckinghams (King Of A Drag?…anyone?)

– Throughout Feb, ROH claws back some of it’s credibility with fans through some clever ideas for future shows including a Past vs Present show, a Women Of Honor reboot & the return of the Pure title in a stacked tournament. Whether this actually pulls ROH from the brink remains to be seen.

– The Revival requested their release yet again. Despite a bigger 5- year deal being on the table, The Revival turned it down. They still haven’t been released.

– The WWE name-change machine is brought again and Buddy Murphy is shoved into the entrance pipe, tag team championship belt and all, and is spat out as ‘Murphy’.

– During a Team Vision DOJO show (Yep, the Chasyn ‘Kids’ Rance wrestling school), Teddy Hart babbles on the mic about how Chasyn “beat the system”. Fucking hell.

– Cody Hall makes some ill-advised comment about yellow fever in reply to a photo of Chis Dickinson hanging out in Japan. DDT then put out a statement saying that they’ve now cut all ties with Cody Hall, who he was on tour with at the time.

– KUSHIDA spends most of his month working NXT house shows, dark matches and getting dumped into a bin by the Undisputed Era. Don’t worry though, he got to lose a 13 minute non-title match with Adam Cole as a thank you.

– In an interview, Minoru Suzuki takes a well deserved shot at WWE piling up everybody, cramming them into their roster and attempting to buy their way into other promotion’s territories. Suzuki says that Japan should be safe due to their strong sense of wrestling culture. I hope you’re right, Suzuki.

– Suzuki also takes down WWE’s way of creating generic create-a-wrestlers and watering down established names to conform with their bland standards. God bless Suzuki; he’s the hero we don’t deserve.

– New Japan announced they would be moving World Pro Wrestling Returns (a program similar to the AXS show airing older matches) to a prime time spot on BS Asahi. They’ll still have World Pro Wrestling, which airs current matches, on Saturdays at 2am.

– Viktor (sorry WWE, I mean Victor), fresh off his release from WWE, takes the time to let us know how disappointed he is in WWE 2K20; “Ok now I’m going to actually say this looks like shit. I’m a gamer and a fan of certain things. This sucks.”

– Beyond Wrestling promote this weird concept show where they’re “filming a pilot for a TV network” and all the “TV execs” are making weird rules, demands and requests, making changes and booking unappealing matches. No one knows what to make of it, but the feeling is that these concept shows are scraping the barrel.

– PJ Hawx, the son of Florida-based wrestler Luke Hawx, proves that he’s all ready 100 times better than his dad by leaping off the first floor of a shopping center into the ring. The width and height make this a spectacular highspot, and gained 8 millions views on Twitter alone.

– Brandi Rhodes go on Observer Live to chat about AEW and blames the terrible Nightmare Collective stuff as coming from someone else’s “creative direction” and says she never wanted to do that infamous commentary segment. The plug is quickly pulled on the angle (thank God).

– During a Toru Sugiura vs Kyle The Beast GCW match, commentator Kevin Gill starts reading off Toru’s stats. Well, he tried to at least, as eagle eared viewers realised that he was actually reading out the Wiki of Takashi Sugiura instead.

– Scottish Wrestling Twitter explodes as they find out that they’re the only ones who think the sun shines out of Joe Coffey’s arse.

– Irish Wrestling Twitter decides to have a go as well, as the positivity police attack anyone who is critical of the up-coming OTT shows. The anti-critical thinking brigade were real bad across the board in general.

– Joey Ryan appears at a set of Impact tapings with a new gimmick that harps on about Cancel Culture. Yes, you read that right; Impact Wrestling. Impact fucking Wrestling. Home of Tessa, Moose, Elgin. Fucking Joey Ryan. Cancel Culture. Impact. Ryan. Cancel. Impact.

– We are all reminded of how small the wrestling bubble truly is when WWE’s financial woes are but a mere “cat stuck in a tree” footnote in a Forbes report on Amazon; “…In lighter news, Amazon may be going to the mat for WWE pay-per-view rights. Yup, WWE is still a thing”.

– Winding out the last weeks of his WWE contract, Matt Hardy has a RAW segment with Randy Orton where he passionately defends the guy who cucked him back in 2005.

– Shayna Baslzer attacks Becky Lynch and bites the back of her neck, leaving a huge blood stain around her mouth. Remember, AEW has NOT CHANGED WWE’s content, they’re still PG and they have no need for an edgier product.

– Jim Cornette decides that the best way to tackle his doubters (in this case, David Bixenspan) is to post photos of him, mock him for his looks and encourage his followers to do the same. What an abrasive little shit heap he is.

– GIF extradition MrLariato has his account deleted due to several copyright claims from Fite.TV due to NJPW GIFs. It doesn’t matter if they were from FITE or NJWorld either. A total dick move by Fite, as Lariato has been responsible for giving a lot of promotions and wrestlers vital exposure. It’s essentially saying no to free advertising.

– The job spec for the position of WWE’s Vice President of Operations hits the jobsites. Preferred qualifications include a degree in business admin, discretion, excellent leadership, poise and grace under pressure, and 24/7 availability. After you’re done choking on that, remember; who wouldn’t want to work for WWE?

– The Daily Mail (an unreliable, shit excuse for a newspaper) publishes a cringey, lazy article about Stardom (“the little sister of the men’s New Japan”), where there the competitors “compete in ‘puroresu'” at Korakuen Hall (“known as the Madison Square Garden of wrestling”).

– Pretty Deadly, a newly established tag team on the UK scene who were beginning to make some waves, sign NXT-UK contracts and are rapidly pulled from an upcoming OTT show on a day’s notice.

– Stardom cancel a slew of up-coming shows due to Coronavirus, and some are reworked as shows featuring no fans in attendance (also know as the ‘NXT-UK TV Tapings’ method).

– Cathy Kelly releases a statement saying that she’ll be leaving NXT the Sunday following NXT Takeover: Portland. She describes leaving as a “difficult decision” and is very thankful for a her position. She seems devastated at having to leave.

– NXT Takeover:Portland is somehow simultaneously good and exhaustingly bad. Lee/Dijak, Broserweights/UE and Nox/Dakota were good-great, but then everything else was either overly long, dull, excessive or all three ( looking at you Ciampa vs Cole).

– In the middle of Black History Month, and wearing spectacular ring gear that celebrated her heritage and with her parents sat in the front row, Bianca Belair is defeated by Rhea Rhipley in an NXT championship match.

– Rickey Shane Page defeats beloved hero Nick Gage to retain the GCW championship at Run Rickey Run, and it results in the outraged fans bottling the wrestlers and the ringside area in scenes reminiscent of Hogan turning on WCW at Bash At The Beach ’96. Take note WWE/Corbin; THIS IS WHAT HEAT LOOKS LIKE.

– NXT-UK Takeover: Dublin (that name…Christ) is announced, and will be on the same weekend as an OTT show. What a massive coincidence, just like them going head-to-head with New Japan as well as their three best mates PROGRESS, ICW and WXW. What a coincidence!

– Due to NXT-UK Takeover: Dublin (never gets any easier to say), PROGRESS (who are best mates with WWE, don’t you know) move their Electric Ball show from April Saturday 26th to April Monday 20th.

– NXT-UK smashes into their BT Sport timeslot with the same old boring, drawn-out shows filled with squash matches and dull, lifeless stories. It does nothing to shake off the popular opinion that NXT-UK is just generic placeholder wrestling.

– MLW alleges that WWE have tampered with their own contracted talents for usage in potential WWE projects.

– Jeff Cobb makes a surprise debut on Dynamite. He’s a free agent there for a cup of coffee and short program with Jon Moxley, and it’s interesting that AEW used a guy still connected to ROH.

– New Japan announce a show set for Madison Square Garden called Wrestle Dynasty. It will go head-to-head with NXT Takeover: Boston, which is all fair in love and war I guess. Still a shit move by the New Japan office in my opinion but it’s probably just a coincidence…

– Val Venis logs on to have a transphobic rant about how Nyla Rose being the AEW women’s champion “isn’t fair”. Wrestling is a work, you melt. He doubles down in various other posts, calling Nyla a man and how he could identify as a dog and win the Westminster Dog show.

– WWE’s revisionist history tactics come into play during their Relentless Aggression Era documentary. Did you know that Vince McMahon changed the name from WWF to WWE because he felt the company needed to push a new creative direction and absolutely nothing else?

– Also revealed on the documentary is Vince McMahon doubling down on his booking logic to have Lesnar defeat Austin on TV by declaring that no one would remember it when they actually come to promote a big money PPV match between the pair down the line. His opinion of his own audience is astounding.

– NXT hits a creative brick wall when they decide to reboot the Gargano/Ciampa feud. As I stated in last year’s Wrestle Wipe, this feud should’ve ended in April 2018. This also means that we’re going to be treated to loads more of NXT’s patented over-acting.

– Cedric Alexander, who got “Please sign Cedric chants!” during his Cruiserweight Classic debut, and Arika Tozawa, one of the most over Japanese imports in recent memory, face off during a Main Event taping where the fans chanted for the ref during their match.

– Maria Manic reveals that Teddy Hart was arrested for possession of weed and steroids in Virginia, thus she has nowhere to stay and still has to take care of Teddy’s cats.

– The legendary Wrestle Kingdom battles of Hiroshi Tanahasi and Kazuchika Okada were referenced on ABC sitcom Black-ish.

– Jim Ross becomes a real life Ron Burgundy when he reads out the points of ellipsis on his script during AEW Dynamite.

– Remember when Baron Corbin complained about AEW & called their fans neckbeards? Well he had a go about Dave Meltzer this time, and said “(Dave) inspires hatred to anything and everything he doesn’t like or agree with”, & said that he himself does the opposite. Of course you do, sugar plum.

– Like clockwork this ignites a massive dumpster fire of discourse about who can and who cannot critique wrestling, and it honestly made me want to fuck this dumb hobby off. “Wrestling fans have a responsibility to support the scene and stay positive!” was the general output of shite.

– During Tiger Hattori’s retirement ceremony, Colt Cabana joins some of the wrestlers heading out to the ring to pay their respects but realises that no one else but CHAOS was out there, thus accidentally joining CHAOS for a night.

– Real heavy rumours of WWE opening a WWE performance centre in Japan begin to circulate. It appears Trips isn’t taking for no for an answer and doesn’t want his totalitarianism vision of “global localisation” to fail.

– Effy sends out an in-character video that talks about beating up fans who shout abusive, homophobic, racist, sexist and other abhorrent language at his Big Gay WrestleMania show. This angers the very nice, very progressive, very good boy Brad Sheppard who moans about being beaten up for saying such things.

– After an incredible return to form at High Stakes that saw the roster given a new boost of life , Rev Pro’s on-demand service gets a kicking when it turns out they used several potatoes to film the show.

– Shinsuke Nakamura splits the back of head open when Braun Strowman slams him onto a grand piano. Jesus fucking Christ mate, I hope the surfing is worth killing yourself and your legacy for.

– Sky Deutschland drops WWE from their programming (including TV content and PPVs) and replaces it with AEW PPVs instead. A welcome upgrade.

– Chris Jericho has “truther” David Weiss on his podcast to have a chat Coronavirus being a satanic conspiracy, mind control and other “supposed” pandemics. Oh boy.

– Samoa Joe suffers an injury whilst filming a commercial and is out of action. This follows disputed reports earlier in the month that Joe was suspended due to a wellness violation. A few days later WWE announce that Joe is suspended due to a wellness violation. This had the anti-dirtsheets reply accounts going insane.

– OTT’s history of having NXT-UK talents pulled from their shows at short notice is thickened when Tyler Bate, one half of their tag champions, is yanked from one of their shows AGAIN, this time three days prior to the show. That’s 5 times in two years for Bate. As of that cancellation, his last appearance for OTT was June, 2019. Fucking state of it.

– Chris Brookes becomes the first ever DDT Universal champion.

– Vicky Guerrero makes a cameo of on AEW DARK and pops along to Chris Jericho’s cruise ship for a bit, and so WWE bans WWE Superstars from appearing on her podcast.

– Some stranger knocks on Arn Anderson’s door, wakes him up and gets him to sign to some championship belt. Wrestling fans continue to be the worse.

– Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee and Rhia Ripley get top billing on an EVOLVE poster for an upcoming show. Well until you look at the small print and realise they were there for a meet’n’greet only, making the EVOLVE roster look like a bunch of nerds.

– Ryan Smile makes a surprise return wrestling after going dark for a few years after Lucha Forever went under and people never got refunds for tickets. This isn’t a very popular appearance but he still gets advertised for a few shows in the coming weeks.

– WWE tweets out a video of Brock Lesnar F5-ing Steve Austin in 2004, and they blurred out Austin’s “FUCK FEAR DRINK BEER” shirt. Remember what the MPAA says; “Horrific, deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don’t say any naughty words!”.

– New Japan feel the power of the Coronavirus as they cancel two weeks worth of March shows including the anniversary show and eight New Japan Cup shows. DDT, Big Japan and NOAH also cancel up-coming shows.

– On NXT, Charlotte batters Bianca Belair post match with chair and a Figure 8, all the while Rhea Ripley tries to make the save but she can’t due to the extremely WWE micor-managing habit of doing her full contrived entrance first.

– AEW continues their hot streak of some of the most consistent wrestling telly in ages with their shows on the way to Revolution, and they punctuated it with a giant exclamation point with the PAC vs Omega Iron Man match being one of the best free TV matches in 15 years.

– Nyla Rose is the guest on Chris Jericho’s podcast which causes a load of very normal boys to get in Jericho’s mentions about gender. “Go study the transgender process and get back to me junior” – Jericho to comments that disregards Nyla’s gender.

– NXT announce a “fan appreciate night” for the March 11th episode of NXT, where it’ll be live from the performance centre. Y’know, with moves like that and them not running other venues/arenas, it makes the rumours of USA paying next to nothing for the show seem almost valid…

– At the Saudi Shite Show, Brock Lesnar pinned Ricochet in seconds, with Rick not even getting in a single offensive manoeuvre. Also, ‘Taker showed up and pinned AJ Styles without taking his entrance garb off, and the WWE nerds explode when Goldberg defeats The Fiend for the WWE strap.

– Despite being destroyed by Brock, and the opening video package saying he had no chance to win, Ricochet still feels the need post about how thankful he is and how is still living the dream. You hate to see it.

– Wrestle-1 announces that they’ll be closing up shop, with a final show scheduled for April 1st. Somewhere, on a throne made of used kickpads, Triple H laughs manically.

– Kenny Omega & Adam Page vs The Young Bucks becomes an instant classic at AEW Revolution. The match turns heads and sparks debate across the wrestling sphere, but for me it was the prefect marriage of great storytelling, great action and was very rewarding for long-term fans.

– Downstait absolutely fucking murder Cody Rhode’s entrance song during his entrance at Revolution. This was embarrassingly bad, and not the way to kick off the heavily hyped MJF vs Cody match. Stick to being a studio band, lads.

– Not be outdone by Jack Gallegher’s awful tattoo of a giant ship on his chest, Cody reveals that he has new ink too in the form a garish Nightmare Family logo on his neck.

– Rush reclaims the ROH World Championship at Gateway To Honor 2020. Despite ROH’s moves to make their product more accessible and less shit, they still have terrible optics by booking large venues that have mountains of empty seats.

– At the end of February, AEW leads the Wednesday night wars, with the standings at 17-3-1.

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