And The Best Junior Heavyweight in the World Is…

Prince Devitt! After running the table in his bracket, Devitt defeated Kenny Omega in the semi-finals and Alex Shelley in the finals to win New Japan’s Best of the Super Junior’s tournament.

Before even receiving the trophy, Devitt put Hiroshi Tanahashi on notice. The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion is next on Devitt’s kill list. After that? Rumblings are Devitt will forfeit the IWGP Jr. Title he currently holds and enter the G1 Tournament in order to eventually challenge for the Heavyweight title.

With an aggressive attitude, hot and fashion Armani Exchange gear, and just a bit of the help of his Bullet Club mates, Devitt has put himself in the hottest streak of his career. Respect the Shooter.

AAW: Day of Defiance 2013 Gallery

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It was a dream match that many thought would never happen. But it did, and it was glorious. Mixed Martial Archie vs. Davey Richards. Alone, the epic battle would have been worth the price of admission, but there was also an excellent match between Heidi Lovelace and Miss Natural, an entertaining “Hoopla Uncensored” with Truth Martini and Joey Eastman, an awesome display of action between the teams of ACH/Michael Elgin & Richards/Kyle O’Reilly, Sami Callihan and Shane Hollister beating the shit out of each other. Perhaps most significantly, Eddie Kingston, arrived in AAW and put the entire roster on notice.

This May 17th show is already available for purchase: VOD  DVD MP4

Photos 1-118 by Gregory Davis, 119-138 by Christopher Codina.

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Purple Heart: Hikaru Shida

I’m sure the full match will find it’s way to you soon, but until then here’s a Vine clip of Ice Ribbon’s Hikaru Shida after her war with Mayumi Ozaki in Oz Academy. Ozaki, with the help of Mika Nishio and Police, brutalized Shida with chairs, chains, and anything else she could get her hands on. Shida tried to even the odds with her signature kendo stick, but was eventually overwhelmed.

Shida remains one half of the Oz tag team champions, one half of the ICE Ribbon tag team champions, and a complete and utter bad ass who pours her heart out for wrestling.

She turns 25 this Tuesday.

Update: Full match below.

Music Friday: At The Drive-In – Cosmonaut

Today’s MF is brought to you by Joshi Queen and post-punk aficionado Hailey Hatred. Hatred has usually rocked something from The Mars Volta catalog as her theme throughout her career. However their last few albums haven’t had to many Pro Wres entrance friendly tracks. So when it came time to pick a new tune for her stint in Stardom 1, she went to TMV’s previous incarnation, At The Drive-In and picked out this sick, sick song.

At The Drive-In reunited, then dissolved again in 2012. Then The Mars Volta called it quits as well. Devastated and distraught, Hailey Hatred deleted her social media accounts thereafter (they were her favorite band after all). Well at least we can still see her and hear them in Korakuen every month. 

  1. Being part of a mostly foreigner Monster Army, she needed something that had English lyrics to replace Shonan no Kaze,

Jeremy Scahill: The Man Who Helped Kill CHIKARA

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Some serious shit went down at CHIKARA’s Aniversario iPPV last Sunday. I’d suggest reading Thomas Holzerman’s full live report here, but in summary: nefarious private military contractor Condor Security was called in by the equally nefarious multi-national conglomerate that owns CHIKARA during the main event of the show. Condor rushed the building causing the match, a pivotal title tilt between Eddie Kingston and Icarus, to end in a no-contest. They then dismantled the set and forced fans out of the building ending the show, and seemingly ending CHIKARA as a company.

This gritty finale was a massive departure from CHIKARA’s typical comic book and science fiction influenced story lines. Private Military Companies doing the dirty work of shady corporations and secretive government agencies have been a go-to plot point TV shows, films, and video games for some time, so it was inevitable for them to make their way into Pro Wrestling. We see PMC’s as the hired guns of mustache twirlers from The A Team to 24 to Metal Gear Solid to Batman: Arkham City and now CHIKARA. Why are they so infamously popular in recent years? It’s thanks in large part to the journalistic work of Jeremy Scahill.

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Saturday Morning Wrestling VIII

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Dirty Dirty Sheets brings you another selection of some of the world’s finest wrestling, handpicked for your enjoyment on this wonderful Saturday morning.

NJPW: Prince Devitt vs. Pac

New Japan’s Best of the Super Junior’s tournament is in full swing now. Prince Devitt is killing it even more than usual, thanks to his attitude change and formation of the Bullet Club stable. Here’s a match from last year’s tourney with the Real Rock’n’Rolla versus Pac. Respect the shooter.

AAA: Hector Garza vs. El Brazo

Wrestling fans we were recently shocked by the passing of Lucha Libre standout Hector Garza. See a young Hector take on El Brazo in a Hair versus Hair match.

World Of Sport: Johnny Saint vs. Mick McManus

Also, British Wrestling legend Mick McManus passed away at the age of 93. Here, see “The man You Love To hate” against Johnny Saint. Also be sure to read The Guardian’s obituary for McManus, it’s in depth and incredibly informative.

Beyond Wrestling: Jarek 1:20 vs. Darius Carter

Back in America, Beyond Wrestling has been making a number of big moves from a partnership with Yahoo Sports, to a special name your own price show, and it’s upcoming massive Americana event. They’re bringing in Steen and Cabana but the heart of Beyond has always been the guys who hadn’t quite made a name for themselves nationally, yet. The Debonair Millionaire Darius Carter is just about to blow up to that level. See him against Jarek 1:20 (who is well on his way to being an international star, in magic). Continue reading

Ultramantis Black: CHIKARA’s Tragic Hero

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Babs of AwesesomeWisdom.com has been writing a series articles analyzing the complex story lines and characters of CHIKARA. Given the promotion’s alleged impending Doom, we thought this piece by her was very timely. 

By Babs. Photo courtesy killswitched.

Wrestling is often compared to other forms and methods of art and entertainment, from popular culture, like sitcoms to sophisticated culture, like ballet. So why not compare it to Ancient Greek Theater? Today, those ancient works are perceived as the dry, boring domains of academics; however at the time the plays were a popular and enjoyable type of entertainment. The plays examined the human condition through entertaining tales of love, lust, friendship, betrayal, revenge, and violence. Sound familiar?

There were three types of Ancient Greek plays – comedic, satyr, and tragic, which is our focus here. In tragedies the protagonist is a man of importance and status who experiences some misfortune, usually caused by his own actions and behaviors. The hero’s suffering is attributed to a flaw in his character, most commonly hubris or an inability to cope with the consequences of his mistakes. Tragedies often invoke the concept of fate: the hero can’t prevent making the mistake that begins his misery, even if he tries. The aftermath of the hero’s mistake and it’s effect on everyone around him drive the plot of the tragedy to its conclusion. Most tragic plays end with the hero in pain and misery, but there are some that have happier endings.

Although Ultramantis Black often claims to be the most devious villain in pro wrestling, I view him as a tragic hero of CHIKARA. Consider his feud with Delirious. Mantis made two tragic mistakes that set the feud in motion. The first occurred when he decided to obtain the Eye of Tyr back in 2008. He gained the Eye of Tyr by nefariously learning to apply the technico-only CHIKARA Special and teaching it to Chris Hero, in exchange for him wrestling for Dr. Cube in Kaiju Big Battel. In return for Hero’s services, Dr. Cube gave Mantis the Eye.

Black’s second tragic mistake was using the Eye to control Delirious. He could have used it on anyone, but Black chose the violent and unpredictable Delirious in order to destroy the Incoherence faction, as it was led by his former partner Hallowicked. Using great power to exact petty, personal revenge is, of course, a recurring theme in Greek tragedy.

There are two caveats that come with using the Eye. If the user gains it by underhanded methods, like Mantis did, bad luck and tragedy will befall them. Those things will also occur to any user who does not give away the Eye of Tyr after using it. Mantis decided he didn’t believe in the curse and did both. He was smart enough to get the Eye, but foolish enough to ignore the dangers and consequences. This is Mantis’ tragic flaw, his hubris. Mantis’ stubbornness and overconfidence in his own cunning made him feel invincible. He was wrong and he wasn’t the only one to suffer because of it.

While Mantis eventually realized the error of his ways and turned technico,  his actions had already set a course of events in motion. Bringing the Eye to CHIKARA led to the BDK’s formation and invasion. Ares claimed that the Eye had been stolen from his family and vowed to get it back. When he did, the BDK used it to gain control over Delirious and turned him into a weapon. While the havoc wreaked by the BDK was not directly Mantis’ doing, but for his actions none of it would have happened.

Mantis made it his mission to fight the BDK, but those efforts brought more bad fortune, as it eventually unleashed the Dark Army. Mantis won the Eye back from Ares at High Noon. However when he destroyed it to give Delirious back his free will, Delirious vowed to make him suffer for two years for the abuse he experienced.

While Ultramantis Black and The Spectral Envoy were able to win King of Trios, they have spent much of the time since the first High Noon fighting Delirious’ army of The Batiri and Ophidian (it was Mantis’ staff that was The Catalyst for Ophidian’s transformation into The Serpent Spirit.)

Since destroying the Eye of Tyr, Ultramantis Black has been in multiple wars, almost de-masked, injured bad enough to miss the beginning of this Season. There still may be time for Delirious to gain more revenge against Mantis and make our tragic hero suffer further. Or maybe Mantis will be lucky one of those lucky heroes that gets a happy ending. Maybe he finally defeats Delirious and his army. But with the potential end of CHIKARA looming, maybe it’s already too late.

You can read more of Babs’ work on the CHIKARA101 Boards and AwesomeWisdom.com, and follow her on Twitter at @FemmeJoMo. See the end(?) of CHIKARA this Sunday by ordering the Never Compromise iPPV here on Smart Mark Video.

Music Friday: Disco Ensemble – Eartha Kitt

Finnish alt-rockers Disco Ensemble had the good taste to feature Starbuck and Jessica Love in the video for their “Eartha Kitt” track. The Falls Count Anywhere On The Planet Intergender Hardcore Match makes for a pretty stellar music video. It’s also going to be a documentary, according to the video’s description:

Spandex Sapiens is the story of Michael Majalahti aka Starbuck, a lonely son of a Canadian preacher man who becomes the striving pioneer of professional wrestling in faraway Finland, only to find himself contested both physically and ideologically by the young transsexual wrestler Jessica Love, who even follows him to Japan on her big break.

Rad. If you dig the song, be sure to download some more Disco Ensemble here. Below, the band’s 2010 tune “Headphones.”

Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling: Debut

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Rising from the ashes of Okinawa Pro Wrestling comes Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling. It is based in Okinawa, which is part of the Ryukyu Islands, the southern-most region of Japan. The company’s roots go back to Michinoku Pro Wrestling, which bred Osaka Pro Wrestling, and then Okinawa Pro Wrestling which closed its doors in November 2011. Ryukyu Dragon held its opening events during Golden Week, and we have a report for their shows on May 4th and 5th, 2013.

The main roster for Ryukyu Dragon Pro Wrestling consists of:

Gurukun Mask – Ryukyu Dragon’s ace, Gurukun Mask possesses great technical and aerial skills.

Hibiscus Mii – Usually known as Apple Miyuki, Hibiscus Mii is the Joshi  ace of Ryukyu Dragon.

Onihito Demon – A giant of a man, Onihito Demon uses his size and strength to brutalize opponents.

Shikwousa Kid – A shikwousa is a small type of orange that is local to Okinawa  while a Shikwousa Kid is a ring technician.

Super Mantaro – Super Mantaro is a Super Hero whose super powers don’t quite seem to work right during his matches and falter when he needs them the most.

Captain Eagle – When his entrance them “Real American” hits the arena, Captain Eagle storms to the ring full of energy and zest, and wearing a boa around his neck. When the match begins to get intense, he “eagles up” and unleashes his power onto his opponents.

Typhoon J. Ric – Speed and intensity best describe Typhoon J. Ric, who has a lucha libre inspired arsenal of moves.

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May 4, 2013

1. Shikwousa Kid defeated Super Mantaro - Good opening contest, in which Super Mantaro’s super powers failed to gain him the upper hand.

2. Hibiscus Mii defeated Aoi Ishibashi - You’ll recognize Ishibashi from the REINA*World promotion. She gave a good fight to Hibiscus, but Hibiscus Mii was able to pull out the victory after a top rope splash.

3. Onihito Demon, Chula Nekokagi, and Typhoon J. Ric defeated Gurukun Mask, Tomoka Nakagawa, and Captain Eagle - This was a wild brawl that took place all over the building, and ended with Onihito Demon pinning Captain Eagle. Continue reading