Playstation is Pro Wrestling

The best thing to come out of E3, aside from The Division and Adam Sessler’s public deterioration, was this commercial by Sony. There’s an obvious Pro Wrestling nod when the protagonist hits a picture perfect springboard swan dive onto some luchadores at the end. But before that, the commercial’s monologue defining the Playstation brand taps into a concept that fans of either video games or Pro Wrestling can equally identify with.

Playstation has been selling this idea for years: video games aren’t just a way to temporarily escape the mundanity of modern life, they are a means for man to ascend to some ethereal divine plane, one filled with danger, intrigue, combat, tragedy, and all the things we dream about but don’t get to experience in the real world.

Pro Wrestling makes the same promises. It seduces people into the art with fame and fortune, sure, but also opportunities to portray larger than life versions of themselves for worshipful audiences. It brings in fans with promises that they, through sheer will and passion, can influence the outcome of climatic battles and epic story lines.

Both video games and Pro Wrestling provide direct interaction to fantasy, something books or film can only hope to simulate.

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Sony Japan is in on it too. Last winter they used the images of Antonio Inoki and Shinya Hashimoto in huge subway ads. No, there weren’t any Pro Wrestling games being released, but the iconography of the sport has cultural relevance in Japan outside of marketing synergy. Loose translation: The time to buy is now.

CHIKARA: Tag World Grand Prix Gallery

The dying gasps of CHIKARA were captured in Chicago by Gregory Davis (1-150) and Christopher Codina (151-175). The show is already available for purchase at Smart Mark Video: Stage One: MP4 DVDStage Two: MP4 DVD.

Watch then tweet angrily at Condor Security for taking it all away.

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Jojo Bravo Tells You How to Build a Tag Team

Jojo Bravo and his colleagues in The Business are nearing their 300th day as ACW Tag Team Champions. Who better to give a mother and her children some brutally honest advice on what it takes to make a great tag team? Neither Jack Jameson nor his beard are able to keep it together when Bravo threatens to take out the family one-by-one.

This gem comes courtesy of the new TexasAnarchy TV Youtube channel, which is all good stuff. Check it out.

Manami Toyota’s 25th Anniversary Show

Manami Toyota is the Greatest Pro Wrestler of All Time, but it’s easy to overlook that she’s still one of the best right now. It’s a mistake no one who watched her the 25th Anniversary: Flying Angela show could make.

I saw it live last September with 600 other Toyota fans in a legit sold out Shinjuku FACE. On that night Manami put on the single greatest performance I have ever seen by any wrestler, anywhere. As she did on her 20th Anniversary show, Toyota chose to wrestle  in every match on the card. She wrestled every match on the card, as if it were the last match on the card. Through five often grueling, always competitive matches Toyota grappled, brawled, kicked, screamed, suplexed, and got suplexed, slammed, and beaten. She never faltered, never tired, never stopped flying from the top rope at her opponents.

I’d never seen anything like it, and I don’t think I ever will again. At least not until Manami’s 30th anniversary show.

The first match was the toughest. Two of Toyota’s eternal rivals, Aja Kong and Kyoko Inoue, teamed with recent adversary Tsubasa Kuragaki. On Toyota’s team were ICE Ribboners Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi. whom Manami chose because they have excellent dropkicks as a counter the other team’s size.

This strategy seemed to be working as Team Manami kept Team Destroy Manami off balance and out of killing range for a while. Then pint-sized Tsukushi tried to bow and arrow death-sized Aja Kong, and it did not go well. Tsubasa, as she had done earlier in JWP and CHIKARA that year, crushed Manami. She torture racked all three of her opponents at once, and finished off Toyota with a sick Metal Wing. Post-Match: Kong gave an angry, heart-felt congratulations to Manami for surviving twenty five years as her kicking bag.

In a friendlier encounter, Toyota faced fellow former AJW alum Miho Wakizawa. Wakizawa was one of the stars of AJW during it’s final run and retired around when the company closed. She only just returned in 2011 with the opening of STARDOM. Wakizawa is often known for laughs, but this turned out to be the most technical match of the night. After all, she took 10 years off and was facing her senpai who kept at it the entire time. Wakizawa fought like she had something prove. She made a very strong showing, but Toyota eventually won with a Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex Hold. Continue reading

This Is Swagger: Prince Devitt Post-BOSJ Press Conference

Just in case you didn’t get enough of the Prince yesterday, here’s an amazing press conference from tday where Devitt points out: he’s the best Junior Heavyweight in the world, he’s not relinquishing the junior title, he wants the fans to boo him, Taguchi faked his injury because he’s a “washed up, beat up chump,” Bullet Club interfering in his matches to help him sweep the tournament was merely a figment of our collective imagination, he doesn’t “give a fuck,” he will beat Tanahashi CLEAN at Dominion, and he’s coming for the IWGP Heavyweight title.

All class.

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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