After months of build up, New Japan has announced the first batch of matches for their G1 Special (which has nothing to do with the G1) in Long Beach next month. On the first and second of July American fans (plus anyone who decided to make the journey) will be treated to two nights of wrestling featuring the incredible talents of Okada, Omega, Naito and… Billy Gunn.
Jushin Thunder Liger has always been a mystery to me. Growing up I never watched WCW, and I’ve only got into Japanese wrestling in the last six months. Liger, therefore, was a distant God. Someone who I caught glimpses of but who was shrouded in mystery beneath his mask. I respected his obvious talent, and I was sure there was a reason he was as loved as he was, but on an emotional level he was locked away under that full body suit. Cold and untouchable. That is until the last few weeks.
Ah, Mr Wyatt, you had so much potential. The cult leader with the golden tongue. The man who begged us to follow the buzzards to salvation. In you, we saw a new Phenom. A new figure of dread to reign supreme over the world, or should we say Universe?
What a difference a few months makes. If you’d asked a hundred wrestling fans who they have expected to get a push coming out of WrestleMania, I’m willing to bet not one would have said, Jinder Mahal. Mojo Rawley, Curt Hawkins and The Drifter would have been surprising, but even that would have made more sense than Jinder’s sudden rise to the top.
Over the weekend the news began to spread that not only were Katsuyori Shibata’s injuries following his match with Kazuchika Okada not a work, but that they could potentially put an end to his career. According to Dave Meltzer, the combination of that now horrifying headbutt and dehydration led to Shibata’s subdural hematoma, and he was temporarily paralysed down his right side. While he is now communicating and recovering in the hospital, it is believed that the chances of him ever being cleared to wrestle again are low.
Much like Christmas, WrestleMania weekend seems to get longer every year. We’ve already had Evolve 80 and Hornswoggle taking Grado to Suplex City, and we’re only just getting started. The big show is still a couple of nights away, but despite that, predictions must be predicted, and this is what I think will go down at WrestleMania.
It’s WrestleMania weekend baby! And for all my whining about feeling a disconnect this yearAnd for all my whining about feeling a disconnect this year, I can’t pretend I’m not excited. WrestleMania is still failing to generate a buzz, but nowadays WWE isn’t the only show in town. From Joey Janela’s Spring Break to Evolve, there’s more wrestling than you could shake a kendo stick at. Of course, this also extends to the E’s own developmental brand, NXT, where they will be looking to repeat last year’s feats and steal the spotlight from their older sibling. So, how do we think NXT TakeOver: Orlando will go down?