Page 1

An intro to rev pro

//

gwf roster revealed

STEELCHAIR

WRESTLING

CONCUSSION QUIZ

SAMOA JOE JOINS NXT

KID FITE DONNOVAN DIJAK KEVIN GILL

STRANGEST MATCHES OF

ALL TIME THE MAGIC OF TV

HE’S BACK!

JAMES STORM DREW GALLOWAY KING BARRETT

2015 // ISSUE 3

SteelChairMag.com

June

JEFF JARRETT

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WELCOME

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WELCOME FROM THE EDITOR

EDITORIAL David Garlick Editor / Design david@steelchairmag.com

Alan Book Deputy Editor alan.boon@steelchair.co.uk

H

e’s back! Jeff Jarret is back with Global Wrestling Force (yes that’s the name) and he told us all about it. GWF has lots of familiar and not so familiar faces and we reveal them all.

As well as speaking with Jarrett, this month we also got a chance to speak with TNA regulars Drew Galloway and James Storm. Who discuss a number of topics including Ric Flair and a certain ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Coiré continues his introductions to new promotion, this month find out more about Revolution Pro Wrestling

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There’s so much more including our new Concussion Quiz with the chance to win a WrestleMania 31 Blu-Ray. Thanks to everyone for your continued support. David Garlick @davidgarlick

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CONTENTS

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6

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 03


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PAST MONTH

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MATCHES OF THE MONTH

1

SASHA BANKS VS

TAKEOVER UNSTOPPABLE

match of the month, this time stealing the show at the NXT takeover.”

JOHN CENA VS SAMI ZAYN RAW

In his hometown of Montreal, Zayn’s incredible match with Cena really showed why he is one of NXT’s top guys

3

AEROSTAR VS

KEVIN OWENS This was all but sealed when Kevin Owens strutted onto Raw like he owned the place and dropped Cena with a Pop Up Power Bomb. As of publication we still don’t know if Owens will be victorious over Cena at Elimination Chamber but regardless of the result his star has been certified. | 2nd: Angelico | 3rd: Dean Ambrose

JACK EVANS LUCHA UNDERGROUND

Showcasing why LU is one of the hottest promotions in the world, two of its best wrestlers gave everything they had.

4

OF THE MONTH

BECKY LYNCH

Two months in a row Sasha Banks has a

2

WRESTLER

TYSON KIDD & CESARO VS THE

EVENT OF OF THE MONTH

NEW DAY PAYBACK

WWE’s two best tag teams engaged in

TAKEOVER UNSTOPPABLE

a brilliant two out of three falls match showing just why tag team wrestling is a prominent feature once again

5

ROH ALLSTARS VS BULLET CLUB TNA

In a headlining, 10-man tag match,

NXT knock it out of the park again with a show that showcases the best woman’s wrestling in the company and a main event where the latest NXT alumni to be promoted to the main roster – Kevin Owens – takes Sami Zayn to another TKO.

NJPW’s biggest and baddest force took on the ROH Allstars in a pulsating and energetic war

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 05


DANIEL BRYAN

06 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


DANIEL BRYAN

he moment Daniel Bryan entered the ring on Monday Night Raw two weeks ago and so graciously relinquished his Intercontinental Championship was the moment that everyone knew was coming but didn’t want to see happen. In recent memory Bryan is quite easily the most over Superstar to step foot inside the squared circle. The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion has miraculously captivated the hearts of marks, smarks and casuals alike with his down-to-earth persona, passionate work ethic and all-round love for the world of pro wrestling. However, despite this undeniable detail there is still a great deal of uncertainty about what the exact health problems are that have Bryan taking yet another extended absence from in-ring competition. His speech on RAW was vague, > talking MRI scans and doctor’s ‘what-ifs’. It’s unknown whether his promo was a ream of script created to fit the melodrama of sports entertainment or a straight shoot from, dare it be said, Bryan Danielson. Both WWE and Bryan remain tightlipped in revealing the true nature of his injury. The fact is many have come and gone, some in the same way as Bryan, but as a fellow indy guy once said, he’s just a spoke on the wheel; a wheel that churns out a combination of seven hours main roster wrestling per week. Time waits for no man. Among this uncertainty there are many Superstars chomping at the bit to fill Bryan’s shoes. Maybe not all the way but effectively enough to, even just for a split second, turn Bryan into nothing more than the B+ player he was taunted so long as being.

T

Words: Lizz Whitehouse


REVOLUTION PRO WRESTLING

T N I AN

C U D RO

O T N TIO

L O V E R O R P

W

WORDS: COIRÉ MC CRYSTALL

N O I T U

S E R W

G N I L T

restling in Britain has

characters, the hard men, the technical

always had a clash of

brilliance, what would happen if you

Firstly, the British Wrestling scene has

styles, from the highly

took all that good stuff and strapped a

produced some of its most entertaining

respected gentlemen

rocket to it propelling it forward 30 years

and technically gifted stars in decades.

grappling at the Royal

‘til today? You’d probably get something

A major complaint of UK and Irish

quite similar to Revolution Pro Wrestling.

independent wrestling shows in the

Albert Hall (which members of the Royal Family had been known to attend) to

days of my youth were the poor quality

the carnival styles of Blackpool England

Revolution Pro Wrestling is one of a

of their performers. Whilst this has

and holiday camps across the island.

collection of newer promotions making

improved in recent years, there was a

The thought of British wrestling brings

waves in the UK, and for good reason.

time where troupes of wrestlers would

to mind wacky gimmicks like Kendo

Founded in 2012 out of a separation

travel up and down the UK advertised

Nagasaki, mammoth men like Big Daddy

with promotion ‘International Pro

as ‘REAL American Wrestling!’ complete

and Giant Haystacks, legit ‘hardmen’ like

Wrestling: UK’, Revolution Pro Wrestling

with knock-off versions of all your

Mick McManus and grappling savants

(or ‘RevPro’ if you want to sound really

favourite stars. I personally once

like The Dynamite Kid battling it out on

cool), has made strides to make an early

watched a man wearing a football

ITV’s sorely missed ‘World of Sport’.

mark on British Pro wrestling. The way

helmet called ‘Scott Steiner’ fight a

So what would happen then if you took

that RevPro has gone about leaving their

man calling himself ‘The Rock’. This

the British tradition of wrestling, the

mark is as ingenious as it is simple.

man was certainly not Dwayne Johnson.

08 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


Current Champion Marty Scrull is a former British Bootcamp competitor

REVOLUTION PRO WRESTLING IS GIVING A NEW GENERATION OF BRITISH PERFORMERS A STAGE TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES

The ‘Attitude Era’ had made the local

they stuck to that. The ones who spent

Scurll has since reinvented himself as

wrestling product seem quaint by

hours thinking up awesome gimmicks

an intriguing, man-bun having, umbrella

comparison. Fans were only interested

and amazing finishing moves. Many

wielding, monologue-spinning goateed

in the WWF and the WWF rarely toured

of RevPro’s performers are cut from

villain. Scurll is currently the RevPro

the United Kingdom - back then we

this cloth and Revolution Pro Wrestling

British Heavyweight Champion having

didn’t get two tours a year and a live

is giving a new generation of British

fought off imports such as Shelton

RAW from London. We were lucky if we

Performers a stage to make a name for

Benjamin, Rocky Romero, Kevin Steen,

got a non-canon PPV like ‘Rebellion’ or

themselves. And in doing this, RevPro

Ricochet, Doug Williams and Davey

‘Insurrextion’. So wrestling fans had to

has made a name for itself too.

Richards. A championship is only as

make do with what they could get - even

valuable as the contenders which have

if what they could get was a 5’11’’ man

An example of someone making a

fought for it and Scurll’s run harkens

calling himself ‘Kane’.

serious name for themselves is Marty

back to the old US territory days where

Scurll. If you only watch wrestling on TV,

a promotion’s champion would take on

However, the kids that grew up on the

Marty Scurll’s name may be familiar as

all comers, and this would help elevate

Attitude Era stuff are wrestlers now.

the brightly coloured partyboy on TNA’s

the champion, the championship and by

Some point after seeing The Rock or

first series of British Bootcamp. The one

proxy, the promotion itself.

Stone Cold (the real ones), they said to

that took the maybe-too-suicidal suicide

themselves ‘I wanna be a wrestler’, and

dive on an episode of IMPACT in London.

Many of the stars of the promotions

>

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 09


REVOLUTION PRO WRESTLING

E H T F O E N O S I O R P REV G N I D E E R B E L I T R E F T S M A MO E R T S N I A M F O S D N K U U E H GRO T N I S R A T S G N I L WREST 10 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


Rev Pro has see the likes of Rockstar Spud and AJ Styles compete in its ring.

have graduated to more mainstream success elsewhere. There is always the chance at an independent wrestling show that someone on the card will eventually end up on the main roster of a televised promotion in the United States. If this is the marker of success in wrestling, the RevPro’s roster features a higher

MARTY SCURLL IS CURRENTLY HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP HAVING BEATEN THE LIKES OF SHELTON BENJAMIN AND KEVIN STEEN

rate than most and is one of the most fertile breeding grounds for mainstream wrestling stars in the UK. Whilst I have touched upon Scurll’s brush with TNA; the previously mentioned Rockstar Spud is also counted amongst the RevPro alumni. Fans of the latest series of TNA’s British Bootcamp will also recognise Sha Samuels who was easily the top heel of the series. Samuels was rivalled only by the endearingly dominant and improbably agile Dave Mastiff, who is undoubtedly one of the best heavyweights in wrestling today, and has also featured on RevPro cards in the past. Fans of Japanese style puroresu may also recognise Zack Sabre Jr, a man so ‘British wrestling’ that he literally wears a Union Jack as his ring jacket reminiscent of the great British Bulldogs. Sabre Jr has been making a name for himself across the world, being featured in the Japanese Pro Wrestling NOAH promotion, as well as the California based PWG. Everywhere Sabre Jr goes technically exquisite matches follow, to the point that Sabre Jr usurped Daniel Bryan’s 10 year reign atop the Wrestling Observer’s ‘Best Technical Wrestler list’. Whilst Sabre Jr wrestles all over the place, it is rare that such an unrivalled talent can be seen on the UK scene so regularly. With the likes of Sabre Jr and Mastiff topping their respective ‘genres’ of wrestling, the UK scene is proving itself to be a fertile ground for growing fantastic grassroots stars, and RevPro has proven a suitable stage to showcase them. The competitors who I mentioned have

faced Scurll exemplify the second great

the one I’m most looking forward to.

point about Revolution Pro Wrestling their use of imported talent. Very often

Revolution Pro Wrestling is practically

independent promotions book imports

offering a public service to British

as special attractions used to bring

wrestling fans and just as importantly,

some fresh eyes to the promotion off

British fans of wrestling by bringing in

the back of the import’s past. There is

some of the greatest names from across

nothing wrong with this approach at all,

the United States and Japan and having

but it does run the risk of turning the

them wrestle for fans that otherwise

imported star into a kind of ‘Harlem

would only get the chance to see them in

Globetrotters’ attraction - the audience

YouTube or on an imported DVD. There

is there for the attraction and the idea of

really is no substitute for live wrestling

a competitive match is an afterthought

and RevPro is definitely offering a treat

- the import has to go over. The way

for fans in the south of England.

that RevPro has utilised their special attraction talents is nothing short

This isn’t to say that Revolution Pro is

of fantastic because it removes the

an entirely ‘live only’ affair. If you aren’t

‘foregone conclusion’ element of having

lucky enough to catch RevPro events

an import. RevPro has shown that they

live, there are other options to get in on

are not afraid to book their own stars to

the fun. RevPro offer previous events

come out on top in brushes with imports

through Vimeo’s On Demand service.

and this has served the promotion all the

Furthermore, RevPro have a YouTube

better. It gives meaning to matches and

channel where every Monday they

makes each ‘dream match’ a real edge

upload RevPro TV, a 35-45 minute show

of your seat affair.

featuring a compilation of matches and promos. Every episode includes one

One such dream match was an

‘featured’ match, usually an imported

incredible Zack Sabre Jr / Shinsuke

star vs a British talent, such as the

Nakamura match. This match was the

aforementioned Nakamura/Sabre Jr

perfect clash of styles, with the King

match. The presentation is far above

of Strong Style, Nakamura facing the

standard indy show fare, making use

best in-ring technician in the world.

of multiple cameras and even a hard

This was literally the best at striking (at

camera set-up. The announce team are

least within kayfabe) versus the best at

diligent in calling the action but never

grappling. Revolution Pro has a penchant

stray into obnoxious territory like many

for making these kinds of matches,

of their American counterparts. The

with their upcoming Summer Sizzler

only criticism of the YouTube effort is

event boasting such matches as Marty

minor levelling issues in the transitions

Scurll vs AJ Styles, Ricochet vs Shinsuke

between pre-recorded segments and

Nakamura and Belfast’s own Big Damo

match commentary, though I’ve seen

vs Tomohiro Ishii. That last match is sure

American promotions ship less well

to be a classic ’Big Hoss’ match and is

made shows on DVD, so these lads

>

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 11


REVOLUTION PRO WRESTLING

unnecessary segments. Overall, I’d say the show is more enjoyable than the average episode of WWE Main Event, if only because the matches on the WWE’s hour long shows are inconsequential, whereas this free YouTube show is actually used to build to shows. If RevPro continues to upload episodes on a consistent weekly basis, then you’d best subscribe so you can keep an eye on this burgeoning promotion. As I’ve said before, independent wrestling in the UK has in the past been very hit and miss. I’ve seen promotions coast on having their ‘top stars’ wrestle like a ‘create a wrestler’ from a WWE video game, garnering cheap pops off the back of more established acts gimmicks and hitting every popular finisher under the sun. Whilst there are a slew of very entertaining promotions across the UK and Ireland, this month I took a special interest in Revolution Pro Wrestling, and I was happy with what I found. Though I was brought in by the promise of Sabre Jr/Nakamura supermatches and similar, I was hooked by the homegrown characters, the vocal crowd and the straightforward in-ring storytelling combined with fluid

are doing well, and there is a marked

on about how important it is to ‘tell a

improvement in production with each

story’, they oftentimes lose sight that the

episode.

simplest ‘stories’ are usually the most effective, and this is an example of how

Generally the show makes for a

RevPro has managed to ‘tell a story’ -

worthwhile production; given its shorter

otherwise known as booking a coherent

running time and consistent attempts

wrestling angle. They have a good face, a

to build towards future matches. For

good heel and a story that makes sense

instance, a recent episode started with

- that’s all they need and they pitched it

the host recapping how American import

to me for free on YouTube without ever

Matt Classic had bested fiendish uppity

having to tell me about Twitter or to

heel Lord Gideon Grey. This caught me

download an app. There’s no reason why

up to speed on the programme and

a fan wouldn’t want to see this match.

also laid the groundwork for why the two are having a tag team match at

As I mentioned before, the show’s

the upcoming Summer Sizzler event.

runtime often fluctuates by about 10

Wrestling doesn’t need to be ‘Othello’

minutes, depending on the match length.

and surely doesn’t need an entire

Whilst it does make for inconsistency,

creative writing team focus grouping

it’s good that they’re not stretching

a plot to death. For all the WWE go

themselves to fill time by adding

12 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

wrestling. Like the World of Sport of old, Revolution Pro Wrestling doesn’t just offer one style, but presents a mixture, from high flyers like Will Ospreay to Heavyweight brawlers like Big Damo. Revolution Pro Wrestling offers the fans a unique show on the upswing and knows what to do with what it has. If this is what ‘revolution’ looks like, then wrestling fans should welcome the change.

share your Rev pro stories with us at @SteelchairMag


Check out kevin’s podcast at KevinGillShow.Com

undreds of people from celebrities to regular folks waited in line for hours and paid top dollar to be densely packed into a preposterously small room in Reseda, CA. Why? Three simple words: Pro Wrestling Guerilla

H

The DDT 4 tag team tournament was the event, and in addition to seeing PWG legends like the Inner City Machine Guns (Rich Swann and Ricochet) and World’s Cutest Tag Team (Joey Ryan and Candice LaRae) it was also an opportunity to see east coast based teams like Drew Gulak and Biff Busick and Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee. Also in action was former WWE star Matt Sydal plus an absolutely mind blowing 3 way match between PWG champion Roderick Strong, Chris Hero, and Brian Cage. I would be remiss to not talk about the audience. The audience is a critical ingredient of the show, and everyone from former UFC fighter Josh Barnett and Ronda Rousey’s Four Horsewoman, to famous musicians, actors and wrestling insiders all suspended their disbelief and provided the energy and response required enabling these world class performers to turn it up several notches and to deliver mind blowing, life endangering, and unforgettable wrestling matches. They say alcohol is a social lubricant, and it flowed freely. I didn’t say quickly, as the line for drinks was over a 30 minute wait, but the drink prices were so low that it eased the pain.

KEVIN GILL COLUMN

KEVIN GILL

KEVIN GILL

$12 for a pitcher of beer, or $3.00 for a stiff cocktail mixed by a friendly and smiling bartender are unheard of prices and everyone is so happy to be there. The vibe, and camaraderie between the audience members and the locker room is truly remarkable. While the majority of the wrestling world gets rightfully excited about NXT and all it represents for the future of wrestling, PWG has been delivering the future for over 10 years, and continues to raise the bar while staying very true to their DIY Roots. There are no PWG Pay Per Views, there is no talk of moving the show to a larger room to accommodate all the people who can’t get a ticket, they are barely active on social media, the building is often uncomfortably hot and the character who runs the venue is a crackpot who refuses to turn on the air conditioning. Yet despite all this, this is the place to be, whether performer or fan, and even when some of their top stars like Nick and Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks) are in Japan or otherwise occupied, the quality of show, the density of the crowd, and the performances are not to be missed. Being an audience member feels like being in an exclusive club, in which the only requirement is being someone who loves fun and wrestling with equal vigor. Support the underground, pick up some DVD’s and if you can, go out of your way to make a pilgrimage to the holy place of wrestling, Reseda, California.

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 13


The wrestling guide you need to read before you begin

head to vuho.tv/FIRSTDAYWRESTLING to get the ebook from Amazon today


NEWS

WORDS: SHANE BAYLISS

NEWS! 1

DANIEL BRYAN RELINQUISHES IC TITLE

In a repeat of last year, Daniel Bryan was forced relinquish his title due to injury. It is a shame to see Bryan out again, but I think a lot of people will now be wondering if Bryan will return.

2

STEVIE BOY AND KAY LEE RAY JOIN THE NAK

One of ICW’s most loved tag-teams came to an abrupt end when Stevie Boy and Kay

The TNA roster return to the UK in January 2016

ELIMINATION CHAMBER RETURNS The 1st proper WWE Exclusive PPV will come in the form of Elimination Chamber which returns on 31st May. Featuring two Elimination Chamber matches, including one for the vacant Intercontinental Championship plus what could be a contender for match of the year as John Cena goes up against non-other than NXT Champion Kevin ‘f-ing’ Owens. Read our review at SteelChairMag.com

Lee well and trulye screwed by Davey Boy and the ICW fans when they joined the New Age Kliq. With this addition is there now anyway to stand-up to the NAK?

3

BILLY CORGAN JOINS TNA

Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) is now Senior Producer of Creative and Talent Development at TNA. As someone who actually does watch TNA, I can’t say how

SAMOA JOE

STUNS NXT

stoked I am to see what Corgan can do to TNA’s pretty stale story-lines.

4

NXT ANNOUCE NEW RECRUITS

The WWE performance centre continued to add raw talent and indie darlings to its blossoming roster, by announcing 11 new faces to the company. The standout being Sesugh Uhaa who has been around the UK indy secne in the last few years, who sought advise from Finn Balor and Chris Masters before joining.

It was always a matter of when not if Samoa Joe joined NXT, and at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable the Samoan Submission Machine walked out in front of sold out a Full Sail to confront Kevin Owens (aka stop Owens destroying Sami Zayn any further). With Owens dance card looking pretty full where does Joe fit in? How long is he around for? and does WWE have bigger plans?

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 15


LINUS REPORT

WORDS: ALAN BOON

LINUS REPORT: WWE PAYBACK Alan Boon shares his indepth thoughts on WWE’s Payback

H

EY, IT’S WWE PAYBACK! IT’S A B-LIST PPV WITH AN A-LIST MAIN EVENT!

If it’s a 2015 PPV then I’m up and watching the pre-show. You’d think I’d have learned by now but I never, ever do. There again, it means an hour of Backstage Renee, and that’s worth suffering even Booker T for. Because they love us, they gave us TWO matches on the pre-show. Because they hate us, it was Stardust versus R-Truth, and The Ascension versus Curtis Axel & Sandow. I’m not sure I can tell you a single thing about R-Truth versus Stardust, except that R-Truth won and no spiders were involved. As for the tag match, Axel & Sandow were occasionally billed as the Meta Powers (which is awesome) but most often as the Mega Powers (which is less awesome). Sandow came out as Macho Mandow and Axel was a fullon Hogan, complete with dyed beard. The Ascension won a dictionary definition of “redundant match”. The show proper started with a video package asking whether Seth Rollins’s sins would catch up with him in the main event. I’m not a betting man but I’d wager no. Hey, it’s Sheamus! He came out for the first match, against Dolph Ziggler, in a re-match from their Kiss Me Arse (I feel disgusted typing it again) match from the last show. Sheamus’s entrance video seems to be some kind of tourism video for Ireland’s beautiful coastline and churches. Given he’s a heel, shouldn’t it be full of bombs? Ziggler looked ridiculous on the preshow, with a stupid, stupid headband. Thankfully he didn’t wrestle in it. They had a decent match – during which Ziggler got revenge on Sheamus by rubbing his arse in

16 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

Sheamus’s face – and it seemed to end a little earlier than it should have when Ziggler bust himself open by headbutting Sheamus. Man, did he bleed! Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick and got the win, and the ring crew got to changing the blood-soaked canvas. Lovely to see some juice back on a PPV. Backstage, Kane and Seth Rollins argued again. Fucking pay it off already! Kane said he hadn’t decided whether he would help ensure Rollins kept the title in the main event but that Rollins would find out soon enough. Rollins said that if Kane did anything that wasn’t in his best interests, being fired would be the least of his worries. Kane laughed it off. Hey, it’s The New Day! They came down to the ring and got cheap heat on a Baltimore Orioles player, and then tried to get the crowd to chant “New Day Rocks”, which of course failed. Interestingly, though, on the pre-show you could hear people in the crowd chanting exactly that. Cult. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, with Natalya, came down, and they had another great match. These teams work so well together. They can feud all year for all I care, as long as we keep getting great matches. It was so good that the crowd started chanting “This Is Awesome!”, and Xavier Woods shouted back, “we are well aware!” Gold. Kidd & Cesaro took the first fall when Kidd pinned Kofi Kingston, and I kinda forgot for a moment it was two out of three falls and marked out a tiny bit. The New Day took the second fall, when they hit their combination finisher on Kidd. The New Day got the win with shenanigans when a fresh Xavier Woods rushed into the ring and pinned Cesaro with his face hidden. The referee, thinking


Payback has only been a Pay Per View since 2013. It took over from No Way Out

it was Kingston, counted the pin, and that was that. I’m happy with The New Day staying as champions but I have concerns about the finish, given it plays into the “they all look alike” nonsense that even Michael Cole fell into on Raw last week. At least the Killer Bees wore masks! Hey, it’s Bray Wyatt! He made his slow, atmospheric entrance for his fight with The Ryback. This is a fight no-one wanted to see. No-one on their right mind, anyway. Certainly the crowd didn’t seem to care much, and they were rewarded with a so-so contest which just dragged on and on and on. Wyatt got the win with Sister Abigail after ten very long minutes and hopefully that’s the end of that. They showed a hype video for the next proper PPV, Money In The Bank, on June 14. Hey, it’s Rusev! This was billed as the final battle between him and John Cena but we’ll see about that, I guess. Rusev was with Lana, who looked AMAZING in white. The crowd chanted for her and Rusev ordered her out of the ring. John Cena came out and the crowd chanted “John Cena Sucks” because they’re a PPV crowd. And then they did a weird “test the microphone” thing and the match was ON! Now here’s the thing. I Quit matches can be compelling viewing and they’re certainly a great way to end a feud like this, which has been all about not giving up. They’re best when they’re bloody, a visual sign on being beaten to the point of surrender, but obviously that’s not an option in the WWE of 2015. So what they did was beat each other all around the building, using all manner of props to inflict further punishment, with referee Mike Chioda following them round to enquire if they did, indeed, quit. It didn’t work for me, but the live crowd seemed to like it and the general consensus is that it was a GOOD THING.

I did like the spot where Rusev got slammed onto the pyrotechnics on the stage. They made it back into the ring, and Rusev locked on The Accolade. This was a poisoned chalice. It stretched Cena into submission, but he passed out before he could quit. This being an I Quit match, that was problematic. Thinking on his feet, Rusev took the opportunity to remove the top rope, woke Cena up, and planned to choke him out with it. Except that waking Cena up wasn’t a great idea because Cena fought back. He dropped Rusev and put him in the STF and wrapped the rope around his face. Rusev began screaming in Bulgarian and Lana told the ref that he was saying, “I Quit!” and the referee called for the bell. They went almosy thirty minutes and worked really, really hard, but it was just off for me, especially the ending which had been telegraphed for weeks. Keeps Rusev strong(ish), I guess. Backstage, The New Day celebrated retaining their titles when Byron Saxton informed them that they would defend those titles at Elimination Chamber in two weeks – in the chamber itself! They did not like this news. Hey, it’s The Bella Twins! They came down to their ring for their match with Naomi & Tamina, the token Divas match on the card. They had a boring match. Naomi & Tamina won when Naomi slammed Nikki Bella off the top for the pinfall. That is all. Backstage, in the locker room, Rusev ranted at Lana as she sat quietly in a chair. He ordered her out of the room and then ranted some more, at the chair and at his own hair. Crazy man. The announcers then said that the Intercontinental title, relinquished by Daniel Bryan on Raw, would be fought for in the Elimination Chamber! >

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 17


LINUS REPORT Hey, it’s Bad News Barrett! He came out in full King regalia for his match with Neville. You’ve got to love these all-England affairs – I wonder if anyone who saw these guys (and Sheamus & Paige) working the British scene in 2007 thought they’d all make it to the big league? So they were having a decent match, with Neville selling a knee injury to keep him slightly grounded. Barrett got a nearfall with the Winds of Change but Neville popped up to hit an enzuigiri. Neville then went up top to hit the Red Arrow but Barrett rolled out of the ring. And stayed out of the ring for the ten count. Neville looked crestfallen to win like that, and looked even worse after Barrett rushed the ring and attacked him, laying him out. Barrett posed in the ring in his King outfit but Neville came back again and hit a German suplex, breaking the sceptre. Neville then went up top and finally hit the Red Arrow and the crowd popped big. Odd way to end the match, but the post-match segment made up for it. Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Seth Rollins versus Roman Reigns versus Randy Orton versus Dean Ambrose! For the WWE World Heavyweight championship! Kane came down to the ring first, because reasons, followed by the rest of the competitors. As they were introduced, Ambrose got the biggest cheers and Reigns got the biggest boos, even more than Rollins. PPVcrowd. As the match started, Rollins looked isolated as his opponents all turned their attention to him. Suddenly, Ambrose & Reigns were pulled out of the ring by J&J Security, and they quickly fought them off. Rollins and Orton ended up outside and Ambrose hit a topé suicida out onto them. Then, as J&J Security ran over to help Rollins, Reigns hit a huge plancha out

18 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

First ever main-event of Payback was a 3 stages of hell match between Ryback and Cena

onto everybody. Back in the ring, Rollins and Reigns went at it, before Ambrose came back in and he & Reigns worked over Rollins together. Reigns cocked his fist for the Superman punch but Kane yanked him out of the ring. Ambrose attacked Kane on the outside but Kane threw him into the barriers. He then joined J&J Security in their

NO ONE WANTED WYATT VS RYBACK. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND. attack on Orton, his decision made for all the world to see. Rollins worked Ambrose over in the ring but Ambrose hit the rebound clothesline and got Rollins set up for Dirty Deeds. Kane ran in and took Ambrose out, and the match is just a farce now, isn’t it? Anyway, Orton attacked Kane, and then took down Rollins, and finally clotheslined Ambrose out of the ring. He then hit a t-bone suplex on Rollins for a nearfall. Because outside is where the action is, Orton took Rollins to the floor and cleared the announce table. Ambrose cut him off, and then Reigns & Rollins joined in to re-unite The Shield. They even hit The Shield powerbomb on Orton, driving him through the announce table. The crowd did not know what to make of that. Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose all smiled until Rollins realised he was the only one left smiling and Reigns & Ambrose beat him down. Shield reunion OVER. Ambrose helped Reigns get Rollins up for a powerbomb through the Spanish announce table,

but Kane cut it off. They teamed to beat down Kane, too, and lay Rollins on the SAT (Spanish announce table) before twice powerbombing Kane onto Rollins until the table broke. Pretty cool. Ambrose and Reigns then deicded to go at it, with Reigns declaring that the loser buys the beers, and they went back and forth with punches, the crowd cheering for Ambrose and booing for Reigns. They trade nearfalls and Reigns almost had the match won with a spear but Rollins appeared out of nowhere to break up the fall. Rollins and Ambrose fought some more and then Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds, but Kane pulled him out of the ring before the ref could count three. Kane then took out both Ambrose and Reigns before Orton recovered to run him into the ring post. Orton and Rollins then went at it in the ring, and Orton hit RKOs on Mercury and Noble before hitting the draping DDT on Rollins. He called for the finish but Kane ran in (again) and he got the RKO, instead. Rollins then hit Orton with the Pedigree for the win. Rollins celebrated with HHH on the ramp as Jerry Lawler sarcastically suggested this was “best for business”… This was a Good Show. The in-ring (mostly) delivered, and there were some outstanding spots that will make the Payback highlight reel one of the best of the year. However, some of the finishes left me empty, and the amount of interference in the main event from Kane and J&J Security almost tipped the heat they were getting over into Fuck You heat. Nobody pays money to see heels win with that much help – all it does it make your babyfaces look stupid. Still, it’s just one chapter in an ongoing story that, for the moment, is delivering the goods.


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JEFF JARRETT

20 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

WORDS: LEE HAZELL


He’s back! Jarrett talks gwf with us

JEFF

JARRETT eff Jarrett was at one time the hottest wrestling personality in the world. A man with such a great talent for drawing the hatred of the crowd he became a master heel that all others should take lessons from. Since his move into the more business focused side of wrestling, Jeff created WWE’s only real North American competition, Total Non-stop Action. Since resigning from that organisation he seeks to do it again with Global Force Wrestling, a banner under which all the world wide styles of wrestling can unite. He talks to Steel Chair about his plans to bring the wrestling that U.S. fans want to see back to the American heartland.

J

WHAT IS THE FORCE BEHIND GLOBAL FORCE WRESTLING, AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO ACHIEVE? That’s a good question. We want the different wrestling fan bases around the world to come together to watch different styles, whether it be Japanese, Mexican Lucha Libre, British technical or the showmanship of American wrestling. It’s all under the one umbrella of Global Force and the force truly is the fans. The fans are so connected to the business these days with social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snap Chat; it allows for so much debate and discussion on which wrestlers they like, which matches they like, which promotions they like. THE GRAND SLAM TOUR KICKS OFF AT THE BALL PARK IN JACKSON TENNESSEE. WHAT CAN FANS EXPECT?

We’re just getting that underway. Matter of fact I’m heading right now to Jackson, Mississippi to throw out the first pitch tonight to begin the promotion of the tour. But to answer your question every Global Force show is going to have wrestlers from around the country and around the world. It’s all going to be very hard hitting action in an action packed night and very much a fan intrinsic show. HOW DOES THE DEAL WITH MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORK? We’re partners. All of these ball parks across the United States are really the centre of attention as we get into baseball season. They have huge communities and about 70 games a season, but when their hometown team is on the road playing away from home, we’re taking over these stadiums. In Jackson, Tennessee the mayor is going to come out and get involved for the local charity that is tied in with the team; we’re also going to have different folks singing the national anthem. It’s a true partnership that is brining Baseball fans, wrestling fans, and all sorts of people out for a good night of family entertainment. WHAT WAS THE FEELING AT GFW AFTER THE IMMENSE SUCCESS OF WRESTLE KINGDOM 9 AND WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT NEW JAPAN? New Japan Pro Wrestling might be the hottest promotion in the world right now. Inarguably and without a doubt Wrestle Kingdom 9, as we’re going into May, is still the best show produced in 2015. We’re very honoured and >

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 21


JEFF JARRETT

EVERY GWF SHOW IS GOING TO HAVE WRESTLERS AROUND FROM THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD proud to have been part of the show and we’re very pleased with the results. We couldn’t have been happier that New Japan reached out to Global Force to present Wrestle Kingdom 9 to North American fans. Jim Ross and Matt Striker did an incredible job, and helped make it a fantastic night for professional wrestling.

22 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

Jarrett is a former 4 time WCW World Champion

WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AS PART OF THE BULLET CLUB LIKE? I love the saying that the group has, they do what they want, when they want, and where they want. That’s something that is going to carry over into Global Force Wrestling and those guys, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows, they’re all just fantastic professional wrestlers. THE LAS VEGAS SHOW HAS GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE EXCITED. WHAT WILL THE SHOW MEAN FOR GLOBAL FORCE? It’s fantastic. Another great partnership, this time with The Orleans Arena which is owned by the Boyd Gaming Corporation which runs business across the United States, so we’re very happy that that’s going to host our first tapings. It’s a very exciting time for Global Force

Wrestling. YOU AND YOUR WIFE KAREN HAS BEEN FEATURED IN MUCH OF THE PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. WILL YOU TWO BE WORKING ON CAMERA OR BEHIND THE SCENES? Behind the scenes. Well, I’m certainly not saying I won’t appear on camera but the roster we are assembling is the focus point. Me and Karen will promote them and help expose them to a global audience. We really look forward to connecting with the fans on that basis, presenting all different styles and all different types of professional wrestling.


THE FACES OF GWF

TOP 5 JEFF JARRETT MATCHES

1

VS. SHAWN MICHAELS IN YOUR HOUSE 2

Both the peak and the end of Jeff’s first WWF run.

THE FACES OF GWF

2

VS. KURT ANGLE TNA GENESIS 2009

JEFF JARRETT

GFW’s hole. A former MMA fighter, Sonnen is a pick for a mainstream audience and a clear indication that TNA are looking to bring the

A great brawl with babyface Jarrett

art of pro wrestling back to the

against Main Event Mafia Kurt.

American Heartland. GFW are clearly after the kind of in depth,

3

technical fighting analysis Josh

VS. CHRIS BENOIT

One of the most daring

Barnett had so much success with

WCW STARRCADE 1999

entrepreneurs in wrestling today,

while commentating for New Japan.

Jeff Jarett is has been the architect

A forgotten ladder match with two guys on the cusp of WCW main event status.

of WWE’s only real competition since WCW – a company for which

CHRIS MORDETSKY

Jeff Jarrett was a four time World Heavyweight Champion – was brought up by Vince McMahon in

4

VS. KURT ANGLE TNA LOCKDOWN 2011

2001. He seeks to go even further with Global Force Wrestling, a promotion that promises to bring wrestlers and styles from all

A thrill-ride of a match during Jeff’s great heel run as “Big Daddy”.

around the world under one banner.

in the WWE, Mordetsky is one of the talents that came into contact

CHAEL SONNEN

5

Formerly known as Chris Masters

with Jeff Jarrett through Ring Ka King, the Indian arm of the TNA

+ JERRY LAWLER

Wrestling corporation. Mordetsky’s

VS. MOONDOGS

wrestling ability in his first run

MID SOUTH COLISEUM

with WWE wasn’t perhaps the equal of his push, but his second time around showed that through

A red-hot brawl in the middle of a fantastic feud.

hard work you can become a great Even though he’s only been signed

wrestler. >

as an analyst, many – including

MORE FACES >

SteelChair’s own Liam O’Rourke – view Chael Sonnen as the ace in

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 23


THE FACES OF GWF DAVEY BOY SMITH JR.

A member of one of the greatest wrestling dynasties in history, DBS Jr. is named for his father, the original British Bulldog, while also having Bret Hart for an uncle. Smith brings the British technical style to GFW as part of their promise to be the company with the deepest variety of styles in professional wrestling.

DOC GALLOWS

Gallows is part of the Bullet Club, New Japan’s answer to the nWo. He is something of a connoisseur when it comes to young, edgy groups looking to burst into well-established wrestling institutions to create havoc. He was part of CM Punks Straight Edge Society in WWE, and in TNA he played a key role in the Aces & Eights organisation.

THEA TRINIDAD

Trinidad was named as one of the first women wrestlers to be a part of the GFW roster. She has a good history so far, being a Knockouts tag champion, but is GFW going to be her place to shine?

24 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

GWF’s first set of shows is a tour of baseball stadiums

KARL KARL ANDERSON ANDERSON

SHELTON BENJAMIN

The second leader of the Bullet Club

Jim Cornett will tell you that while

after Prince Devitt’s departure for NXT.

working with OWV he worked with

Nicknamed “The Machine Gun” Anderson

two wrestlers who came out of

adopted his last name in tribute to the

the University of Minnesota. One

legendary Anderson clan and started

was Shelton Benjamin, the other

using Arn’s Spinebuster as a signature

was Lesnar. Cornett would choose

maneuverer. He certainly does have that

Benjamin every time. He is a former IC

same kind of old school physicality that

title holder and even competed for a

made AA such a hard hitting draw.

shot at the WWE World Championship.

LANCE LANCE HOYT HOYT

SCOTT STEINER

Hoyt is another of the Jarett era

Big Poppa Pump will most fondly

TNA alumni. Mike Tenay would dub

be remembered as one half of

the movement surrounding him as

the infamous Steiner Brothers tag

“Hoytamania”. He has travelled the world

team and the practitioner of the

to become part of such companies as

Frankensteiner, one of the most

WWE, the new ECW and New Japan. This

exciting finishing moves of all time. His

diverse knowledge of global wrestling

solo career had a few highlights too, as

promotions could only have made him a

a two time United States champ and as

more attractive prospect for Jarrett.

a WCW World Heavyweight champ.

PJ BLACK

Continuing the theme of globally diverse

HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN

You don’t need an introduction to the

wrestlers, South Africa’s PJ Black,

legendary Hacksaw. You just need to

formerly known as Justin Gabriel, is

hear the word “Hooooo!” and you know

putting the undignified end to his run in

exactly who it is. The winner of the first

WWE behind him as he looks to be one of

ever Royal Rumble and former United

the most agile members on the GFW.

States champion.


TOP 5

WORDS: ALAN BOON

STRANGEST MATCHES OF ALL-TIME THE 108-MAN BATTLE

Yeah, Japan again. The International

sitting down to lecture us on the evils we,

ROYAL:

Wrestling Association will always be most

the human race, had unleashed on the

famous for its King of the Deathmatch

natural world. The one enemy he could

tournament, which saw Cactus Jack

never defeat – in three attempts – was

triumph over Terry Funk in an exploding

Mokujin Ken, a tree demon crying tears

barbed-wire ring match. However, they

of blood for what we have done to the

also came up with this doozy, in which

forests. Uncharitable observers might

several scarred and bleeding professional

suggest he was a man in a cardboard

wrestlers ran about a bath house – a

costume but they deserve to go to bed

kind of spa, complete with old men and

with no supper.

naked women actually bathing amidst the carnage – in some twisted parody of a wrestling match. That they did it a few times showed there was some appetite

THE EMPTY ARENA

Nobody does New Year’s Eve like the

for this kind of thing, though it must have

Japanese. They go for it big time. The

been very niche, and extremely short-

place to be on New Year’s Eve 2009 was

lived, because it’s been twenty years

Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall, where Big Japan

Jerry Lawler did not become the King Of

since the last one.

Memphis on the strength of his technical

Pro-Wrestling, the Kaientai-Dojo, and Dra-

wrestling. Memphis was a brawlers’

matic Dream Team promotions combined for a dream show for those who like their

MATCH:

territory, where the crowds wanted to see

professional wrestling on the sleazy side.

SURVIVAL TOBITA VS

tough man batter seven shades of the

The crowning glory of the show was a

MOKUJIN KEN:

of blood to illuminate their battles. One

108-man Battle Royal – a super-deformed Royal Rumble, with entrants coming in every 30 seconds, and a break in the middle to count in the New Year. Combatants included a who’s who of Japanese indysleaze, as well as blow-up doll, a robot, a cow, a very old man, and several different Tiger Mask variations (all sharing the same mask, it seems). It was won by a man still bleeding from his match earlier in the night, but the result didn’t matter. History was made, my friends. And never repeated.

proverbial out of each other, with buckets of the wildest contests in Memphis

Survival Tobita lived by a mantra. “He

history was the famous Concession Stand

is very die hard! He’s just japanese

Brawl, where Lawler & Bill Dundee fought

rock & roller! His real name is Masaru

Wayne Ferris (the future Honky Tonk

Tobita! Knock Out All Enemy! Attack All

Man) and Larry Latham (better known

Monsters!” His matches, the majority

as Moondog Spot) amidst the detritus

of which didn’t even involve a wrestling

of whatever passed for refreshments in

ring, were against enemies of mankind

Tupelo’s shabby Sports Arena. But Lawler

– a marauding ape man, a robot, an evil

went one better two years later, facing

asbestos inspector, a sewer dweller –

Terry Funk in a match that spanned

and Tobita despatched them all, before

the whole of the Mid-South Collisseum in Memphis. While it was empty. Funk believed Lawler had too strong an advantage in front of his home fans, and so insisted they were absent. Thus one

THE BATH HOUSE

of the hottest matches in professional

DEATH MATCH:

cameramen (and hundreds of thousands

26 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

wrestling history was witnessed only by


watching at home on TV). The WWE copied the idea years later, for their Halftime Heat brawl between Mankind and The Rock. Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.

MONSTER TRUCKS:

I’m sure there’s quite a crossover between the audiences for monster trucks and professional wrestling. But rarely have the two “sports” collided in such a stark manner as when Hulk Hogan and The Giant faced off in the first Monster Truck match at WCW’s Halloween Havoc 1995. On the roof of the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the two superstars “fought” in a sumo match, each trying to use their truck to push the other out of the ring. The trucks were welded together so they had to stay engaged in battle and for some reason they placed two BOMBS in the ring that they trucks had to avoid. Hogan won, of course. Without exploding anything. And then they got out of the trucks and started grappling on the edge of the building, with the Giant tumbling 50ft off the roof, apparently to his doom. Except, when he turned up later, they said he’d fallen in the lake below. Only he was bone dry. And then a mummy appeared, which was called The Yeti…

KID FITE COLUMN

share your strangest with us at @SteelchairMag

t’s Monday 25th May 2015 and the sun is bursting through the sky. This Scotsman has made the difficult decision to give the beer garden a miss for today and get to work. That is because today is the day I write my first column for SteelChair Magazine. I am excited to be a part of this new magazine and look forward to watching it grow in the coming months. I will use this column as somewhat of an introduction. In 3 short paragraphs I will say who I am and what I do while trying not to write it like it’s my profile on some new dating site.

I

My name is Ross Watson. However, I’m known to most as Kid Fite, a name given to me as a rib 13 years ago. Like all good ribs, I never got over it. I wrestle throughout the UK as well as abroad in countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway to name a few. I even ticked the good old USA off the bucket list back in 2011 when I became the first Scot to compete in the infamous ECW Arena for CZW. That last sentence looks like something I would Tweet to Uber Facts in some shit attempt at getting a cheap plug. As well as being an active wrestler I also own Premier British Wrestling and have been running shows across

Scotland since March 2006. PBW run family friendly shows across Scotland using the very best British, and occasionally international, talent available. On average we have around 1520 shows per year with crowds ranging from 300-600, even getting 1000plus on the odd occasion. One of PBW’s biggest contributions to the booming Scottish Wrestling scene is the PBW Academy. I have 3 schools across central Scotland all under > the PBW banner which runs classes weekly. Many of the top young talent you see performing across Scotland/Europe today learned their craft with PBW. Rising stars such as Noam Dar, Kay Lee Ray, Davey Blaze, Kenny Williams, Lou King Sharp, Andy Wild, TJ Rage plus many more continue to make us proud every time they step in the ring. Like any promoter/wrestler, I would love to drone on for another 6 pages explaining to you all why I love PBW and our school but perhaps that is best saved for another day as an introduction shouldn’t turn into a biography. Hit me up on Twitter troops with any questions you may have. Thanks for reading. @kid_fite More info on PBW and the PBW Academy at pbwwrestling.com


THE MAGIC OF TELEVISION

WORDS: LIAM O’ROURKE

THE MAGIC OF TELEVISION

O

ne of the things that has fascinated me for a

pushes, 50/50 booking and a meaningless midcard quagmire.

long time is watching how different promotions

Ratings have been on a slow downward trend for a long time and

throughout wrestling history have produced their

have been hovering around record lows for weeks now, and the

television show. TV traditionally, of course, being

show format is clearly not conducive to creating new stars.

the free vehicle to captivate the imaginations of fans and casual viewers alike, convincing them to spend

Even the need for two hours is a myth. When TNA pissed and

money on the company. As such, seeing the different styles of

moaned about how they needed two hours a week in 2007,

salesmanship through the years is a delightful experience. But

despite the fact their one hour show was utterly horrible, the

in the modern era, wrestling television has become a different

smart money was that they’d do the exact same shit, just for

animal indeed.

an hour longer. And that was exactly what happened. Nothing changed.

TV rights deals have skyrocketed in the past decade, and a focus on ratings has led certain companies astray in terms of how to

The truth is, The Ultimate Fighter launched UFC into orbit in

produce a show for the real world big picture. As such, a shift

2005, and it was one hour long. Mid-South’s episodic show

has been noticeable, that being from constructing a show that

constructed by Bill Watts is legendary, and that only took up

creates stars, spotlights personalities, creates hot angles and

an hour of air time. ECW Hardcore TV became a full-fledged

entices people to see the big match live or on Pay-Per-View, to

underground revolution with a one hour show. WCW Nitro

being either time-filling content, or a desperate and failed reach

changed the landscape of the business in September 1995,

to gain an audience by foresaking PPV and making TV the be-

and had only sixty minutes to play with. Granted, in the Monday

all and end-all. And while there is still very good wrestling on

Night War, things were at their best at two hours, that’s not a

television, there have been fewer times when television felt more

point I’m even debating, but that was with momentum, star

out of synch with the end game.

power and a built-in audience on their side.

As has been said or thought by everyone breathing oxygen in

Episodic wrestling television can be so great. The emotion you

2015, Raw is too long at three hours. We all know it and the

can generate in that environment is truly capturing lightning

pitfalls it creates. There’s the formulaic and unimaginative

in a bottle, and it’s unlike any other show on the air. For a

booking with a rigid show structure that makes every show

large percentage of us die-hard wrestling fans, it’s those great

interchangable and largely irrelevant. It’s hard for the show to

moments that made us fans for life. Dick Murdoch’s brainbuster

feel dynamic for so long at the best of times - WCW Nitro had

on Ted DiBiase after his match with Ric Flair. The Magnum TA/

the same problem with a star-studded line-up and talent in

JYD contract signing angle with Mr. Wrestling II interjecting.

abundance going 3 hours, let alone with a roster filled with failed

Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan on Piper’s Pit. Randy Savage

28 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


attacking Ricky Steamboat with the

hopefully will stick to one hour a week.

ring bell. Scott Hall showing up on

The issues are vast - they need star

Nitro. Steve Austin hitting Vince

power. They need to be on the right

McMahon with that first Stunner.

station (the latest Observer Newsletter

The list goes on and on for days. By

has them in talks with FS2, WGN

comparison, Raw feels like capturing

America, Spike and CMT, of which

a cloudy day with spitting rain in a

Spike would be the ideal home). They

bottle. You know what you’re getting

need to look major league, and Jarrett

the whole time, and you barely care.

has insisted they will, with the video

WHO TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER

work of Kevin Sullivan and his hiring of With the WWE Network at hand, it’s

former WWE production staff. But they

very easy to relive the days of one hour

also need to crack the combination to

shows, but it’s amazing how easy it

the exact right type of show to hook

is to forget the feeling of watching it.

an audience spoiled for choice in the

Even if the product isn’t up to par at

entertainment world.

@davidgarlick Editor of SteelChair Magazine

times, it never feels like a chore, and it’s so easy to make people wanting

It’s more than just great wrestling.

more when the show goes off the air.

It’s the personalities, the situations, the promos, the angles, the look and

A one hour block also allows greater

feel of the show, and a consciousness

flexibility and a more unpredictable

of the fact that a paint-by-numbers

show, just from the obvious nature of

wrestling television format isn’t going

it taking less time to sculpt an original

to make a dent in the wider context of

hour of television (or 42 minutes,

the world. It’s been a long, long time

taking out commercial time), so more

since wrestling fans have been able to

thought can go into the creativity of

be genuinely excited by a weekly show

what makes the final cut. There’s no

for a prolonged period. WWE doesn’t

reason for worthless filler, and you

look to be changing any time soon.

can put the focus in the proper place

TNA has scorched the Earth with the

at all times. Case in point, NXT, which

audience in terms of making it big,

has a lot of buzz right now, is actually

and Ring Of Honor doesn’t have the

not that good a weekly show in truth

tools to ever be more than they are.

- the specials blow it out the water for

Lucha Underground was different, but

pure quality. But it benefits from never

it looks distinctly minor league in that

being overexposed, and never feeling

building, and thus has limited appeal.

pointless in its own self-contained bubble.

Whether the star power or TV slot will be there for GFW is a huge question

The point of all this discussion? I can’t

mark, but they have a chance to

stress enough that for a wrestling

really hook people with their show if

show to break through the malaise of

they have the right vision. It’ll be very

fans (who are conditioned to accept

interesting to see what they bring to

that there will never be another true

the table, and I’m optimistic. I have to

contender to WWE) and the interest

be. Because honestly, I miss talking

of casual viewers who only have time

about how great Raw or Nitro was, or

for the major league, it needs to be an

the hot angle with the big star that

absolutely vibrant program that slaps

became a huge talking point and had

everybody in the face like nothing

me excited to see what was next. That,

we’ve experienced in years.

to me at least, is what wrestling is really all about.

@alan_boon Deputy Editor. @shanebayliss News Editor @antonjackson Lead photographer @vulturehoundlee Interviews

>

@kinghornadam Previews + Predictions writer @ctremors ‘Intro to...” features writer @Kid_Fite Columnist and wrestler @fadetojack Writer @ntasca1293 Writer @DonovanDijak Columist and ROH star @OGkevingill Columist and voice of Juggalo Championship Wrestling @WWE__History WWE Today In History

Global Force Wrestling is about to tape their first television shows, and

>

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 29


LIVE PHOTOS: KIMBERLEY BAYLISS

DREW GALLOWAY

30 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

WORDS: SHANE BAYLISS


a current 5 time title holder, he made some time for us!

DREW

GALLOWAY W

hen Drew Galloway was

It was my idea, I did it with the Evolve

released from his WWE

title initially. I wanted to define the title,

contract last summer,

I didn’t want the title to define me. I

I’m pretty certain nobody

wanted to make the titles mean more

was expecting him to

than they were worth when I got them.

show up just a month later in his former

When people think of the title they don’t

stomping ground in ICW and go on to

think of the company, they think of me. I

beat his friend Jack Jester for the ICW

use the JFK quote all the time “don’t ask

World Heavyweight title. Now Galloway

yourself what the title can do for you,

is “standing up” for wrestling as part of

ask what you can do for the title. Don’t

The Rising on TNA and also defending

let the title get you over, you get the title

his five world titles across multiple

over.”

continents. SteelChair was lucky enough

ASK NOT WHAT YOUR TITLE CAN DO FOR YOU. BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR TITLE. champion since Ric Flair. Since the WWE changed wrestling, and modernised

to get some time with the World Champ

HOW MANY TITLES ARE YOU AT

it to the way it is there hasn’t been a

ahead of his title defence against

CURRENTLY?

travelling world champion, and that’s my

Grado in Nottingham on ICW’s Insane Entertainment System Tour.

goal with the five titles and with TNA I Five! On three continents.

want my hands on that one. That would cap it all off, to be able to take them

YOU’RE THE CURRENT ICW CHAMP,

THAT’S PRETTY MAD, DIDN’T YOU GO

around the world. In a social media age

AND HAVE BEEN FOR A LITTLE WHILE?

OUT AND WIN ONE IN AUSTRALIA?

if you are smart enough you can really make something happen, and that’s my

Since November! The first ICW

Yeah! Australia, Denmark, ICW, Evolve

Barrowlands’ show and the finale of

and two Saturday’s ago I beat Johnny

Insane Fight Club 2.

Gargano for the Dragon Gate Title.

goal to be a pioneer and not a follower. SPEAKING OF YOUR TNA DEBUT, READING ONLINE THAT KIND OF CAME

YOU’VE TAKEN THE ICW TITLE ON

IT MUST BE PRETTY HUMBLING TO BE

TOUR, AND PUT IT ON THE LINE IN A

ASKED TO HOLD ALL THOSE TITLES?

COUPLE OF COUNTRIES. WAS THAT

OUT OF THE BLUE? Yeah, I’d done an ICW show in Glasgow

YOUR IDEA, OR DID MARK DALLAS ASK

Yeah, it’s pretty cool. People are putting

on the Sunday. TNA phoned me on the

YOU TO GO OUT AND PROMOTE THE

their trust in me, and I’m now looking

Monday, and I didn’t answer my phone.

TITLE?

to become the first travelling world

Tommy Dreamer text me, said they >

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 31


DREW GALLOWAY

wanted to talk to me, I told them no, we

HAVE YOU GOT A LONG TERM PLAN

where live tweets we’re shown on the TV

had a conversation, where they pretty

WITH TNA, OR IS IT JUST A CASE OF

show with people stating their opinion

much told me they weren’t taking no

SEE WHAT HAPPENS NATURALLY?

and what they want to see and what they

for answer and said we’re giving you an

want to change, because that’s my whole

opportunity to be Drew Galloway, you

Yeah, there’s a plan in place and it’s

thing. It’s not a gimmick, it’s how I feel!

can wrestle as yourself and still do all

starting to evolve if you watch the TNA

And people seem to be behind it, and

your ICW and Evolve shows etc around

shows, starting with my debut. We did a

want to see change.

the TNA schedule, and it’s only like four

social media campaign where I took over

days a month right now. So I’d be silly

the accounts for three days, which was

IS IT WEIRD WITH THE WAY THEY

not to do it, considering!

huge and trend multiple times over the

CURRENTLY PRE-RECORD TNA?

few days, and then last night they did

BECAUSE YOU’VE DONE WHAT’S BEING

SO THEY APPROACHED YOU AND SAID

a show in America that’ll be on Sunday

SHOWN NOW, LIKE TWO MONTHS

“YOU CAN BE DREW GALLOWAY, AND

night which my character was behind

PRIOR TO IT AIRING. WILL IT MAKE IT

DO WHAT YOU WANT” ESSENTIALLY?

DIFFICULT WHEN YOU WIN THE TNA

THAT MUST BE QUITE FREEING

TITLE, IN REGARDS TO TOURING IT, IF

COMPARED TO OTHER MAJOR PROMOTIONS? Yeah, to get the best out of people just let them be themselves and if it succeeds it’s on them, and if it fails at the end of the day you know it’s on you on way or another. I’d much rather control my own destiny than someone else!

32 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

I’M LOOKING TO BECOME THE FIRST TRAVELLING CHAMPION SINCE RIC FLAIR

IT HASN’T BEEN SHOWN ON THE TV. I probably won’t bring it out on tour till it’s been shown on TV, but it works for me right now because ICW and Evolve, and these are the people who gave me the platform to show what I could do, and I’ve really got over in the independent scene in the last eight months which led to TNA seeing what I’ve been doing, and other people who’ve


DONOVAN DIJAK COLUMN

W Drew Galloway has a degree in criminology

been trying to contact me recently.

artist/825377. You can also also see

But they waited too long, because I’ve

Galloway ‘standing up’ for wrestling

signed a contact now! People like ICW

each week on TNA Impact, Sunday

gave me the opportunity to be myself,

nights on Challenge TV.

and because TNA is filmed four days back to back it allows me to do it without restrictions. Galloway went on to defend his ICW title against Grado, however his celebrations were cut short when he was brutally attacked by Jack Jester, the man he’d beaten in November to take the title. Keep an eye on ICW’s On Demand service to see the fallout from Jester’s return, or get yourself down to an ICW show – http://www. ticketmaster. co.uk/ICWWrestlingtickets/

e are the House of Truth. Has a catchy ring to it, don’t you think?

Who exactly are these men and why do they ally themselves with one another? Allow me to shed some light. Truth Martini is a man with a vision, and that vision is success. How can you measure success? Easily. Titles: We have them. Power: We have it. Influence: It’s ours. The House of Truth is a well oiled machine and every piece > plays it’s role beautifully. Need a pay-per-view main event? Jay Lethal will grab the bull by the horns. Want the future of professional wrestling to show you how it’s done? I’m your man. Do you need some muscle, some dirty work? How about Jay Diesel? But don’t you forget Truth Martini. There is literally NOTHING on this planet that he cannot ascertain for the House of Truth. That is true power. So what is next for the HOT? No, we aren’t going to “take over the world.” No, we’re not going to steal your woman (although we could.) Ring of Honor somehow feels that they are above us, that they don’t quite have to play by the same rules as everybody else. ROH has experienced a version of the House of Truth before and survived, but make no mistake about it: We are different. We have Ring of Honor exactly where we want them and very soon, everyone will understand why the House always wins.

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 33


LOOK BACK

WORDS: LEE HAZELL

A LOOK BACK AT THE 1ST TUESDAY NIGHT TITANS Lee Hazell looks back at the first episode of WWE’s TNT

This one comes

televised wrestling wedding, Mr. Fuji’s

would go on to be a feature of the

recommended by our

ill-advised sketch career, and the place

show. Particularly in a segment

very own Deputy Editor,

where Kamala ate a live chicken in front

surrounding Hogan’s next victim

Alan Boon at SteelChair.

of Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

David “Dr. D” Schultz, as he spends

He described the first

The year is 1984 and is wrestling is still

eight uninterrupted, unedited minutes

episode of Tuesday Night Titans as “erm,

making the awkward transition into the

threatening his wife and children. Faces

special.” With an emphasis on the “erm.”

television medium, a transition many

fare no better as we see pictures of Tito

He wasn’t kidding.

believe the sport is still making today.

Santana treating a prepubescent fan to

Titans was a WWE style talk show that

Wrestling has always been a performance

one of the most formal lunches an eight

sought to use the format of programs

art; something for which you always

year old has ever been invited to. It looks

like The Tonight Show or Late Night with

need to keep the live audience in mind.

like Sonny Crockett took his nephew to

David Letterman to bring an irreverent

This means you need to cater to the

work with him.

flavour to the news of WWE. It was one

folks in the back row as well as in the

At least he treats children with some

of McMahon’s first attempts to bring the

front. In television, there is no back row.

respect, unlike the malevolent Dr. D. But

world of wrestling to a wider audience via

This means that the more exaggerated

the one thing that both these wrestlers

more mainstream television techniques.

aspects of wrestling have never, will

had in common was that neither of them

It stands as a testament to everything

never, make all that much sense on a TV

were camera trained. Neither looked

that is wrong with trying to combine

platform.

comfortable on set. Their matches attest

sports entertainment with conventional

This is almost entirely true for TNT. Apart

to their great physical charisma in the

entertainment.

from the mercifully generous display of

ring and their promos attest to their

Titans would gain something of a

wrestling, much of the show is a more

charisma outside of it, but sitting down

reputation over the course of the next

standard format of TV entertainment,

and talking normally were things that

two years; an infamy, if you will. After all,

performed by people who have no instinct

seemed beyond the cognitive capacity

TNT would be the home of the first ever

for television.

of these two Superstars. Whenever Dr.

Take the introductions for example. Not

D was looking at the camera he was

only does Vince McMahon talk with the

sporting an expression that suggested

kind of syntax that would make Howard

either digestive incontinence or that his

Cosell furrow his brow in confusion, he

brain was straining so hard to remember

calls his co-host, the legendary English

his lines that he was on the verge on

wrestler Lord Alfred Hayes, “Britain’s

having a small aneurysm.

answer to Idi Amin.” Idi Amin was a

Next we’re treated to a cooking

Ugandan dictator know for several human

segment courtesy of Afa and Sika,

rights abuses and atrocities. Hayes can’t

The Wild Samoans. WWE handle the

decide if he likes the comparison or not.

representation of the Samoan culture

It might have been a different time, but

with the kind sensitivity you’d expect

bloody hell, it wasn’t that different.

from Jeremy Clarkson’s stag do. The

This kind of tone deaf comedy

entire skit is based on how from the

A

TNT WOULD BECOME THE HOME OF THE FIRST EVER TELEVISED WRESTLING WEDDING

34 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


Roddy Piper played Ebenezer Scrooge in the TNT version of A Christmas Carol

western perspective Samoan culture is

Lou Albano, the former manager of

savage, uncivilized and, quite frankly,

The Wild Samoans, the man to be

gross. The addition of Hayes as the

blamed for their loss. The Captain is the

refined gentleman turning his nose up at

walking anthropomorphic embodiment

the thought of trying an exotic delicacy

of eccentricity itself. Captain Lou is

adds a distinctly colonial flavour to the

a man with a penchant for piercing

segment and makes it even more painful

rubber bands to his face and using

to watch.

them to keep his beard in check. The

We can’t even look past the xenophobia

interview is a microcosm for the show

and just be entertained by it, because

it’s featured on. Lou is a great manager

it isn’t entertaining. There’s no energy

and a charismatic, and unique, wrestling

to any of the comedy. None of the

personality. But when sitting on a couch

performers act like they are part of

in front of cameras and trying to keep a

a farce or are even acknowledging

dialogue going, he is lost.

the humour of the situation. If I

Wrestlers are all about impact. They

Mainstream relevance is something that

were generous I could say that Vince

turn up, they tell a story, they leave an

WWE will always be after. Even now,

McMahon discovered the dry charms of

impression on the viewer, they leave.

they would scold you for suggesting that

postmodern realism in comedy seventeen

They are not actors or comedians. The

they had anything less. But they don’t.

years before Ricky Gervais did. But

more normal a situation you present

Only when people wish to view wrestling

somehow I doubt it.

them in, the more trouble they have

ironically will it ever be accepted by the

Once again, the wrestling comes along

dealing with it. Wrestlers and wrestling

wider audience. The truth is, wrestling

to save the day. Choosing to show a clip

personalities, especially in this era, are

and celebrity simply don’t mix. It is a

of their recent championship loss might

not regular people. They are human

Saturday morning cartoon show, or a

seem like an awkward thing to show on

phenomena attracted to the most insane

living comic book. It’s appeal is niche

your program while the Samoans are

job description of the twentieth century.

and its grown up fans are geeks without

guests on it, but it feeds into the wider

They are theatrical psychopaths with one

exception, even if they don’t identify

narrative of the show. Their opponents

too many blows to the head. It wasn’t

themselves as such.

were close friends of theirs, the Soul

too long before this that many promoters

Whenever wrestling takes that step over

Patrol. Both teams would raise future

saw wrestling as an athletic freak show

into normality it is usually a mess. Even

superstars of their own, Sika’s son

for people too unstable to be regular

now after thirty years of vying for its

grew up to be Roman Reigns and Rocky

sportsmen. As such, put them in a TV

respect, wrestling can be at its worst

Johnson’s boy would turn into ten time

studio and they will dive. Put them in or

when crossing over with Hollywood.

world champion Dwayne “The Rock”

next to a ring and they can make magic.

Sometimes it works, like it did with Jon

Johnson. They would go on to share a

This whole endeavour is another

Stewart just before WrestleMania, and

heart-warming moment at the 2015

classic example of wrestling finding its

sometimes it doesn’t, like with Florida

Royal Rumble (that is, if the WWE

limitations when desperately trying to

Georgia Line. Still though, as used

Universe would let them).

find that ever elusive “wider relevance”.

to parody as Stewart is, wrestling is

The Samoan’s loss at the hands of the

By far the best parts of this show were

something else. Rollins certainly couldn’t

Soul Patrol would mark the first time an

the wrestling matches on offer, despite

match him for jokes and Jon couldn’t find

African American team would win the

not being much more than hastily pasted

his groove as easily, being forced to take

tag titles. It was an amazing sight to see

together clips. It’s when the show tried to

Rollins character more seriously than he

so many working class white Americans

produce anything beyond pro wrestling

would like.

tear the roof off in celebration for Rocky

that its failings became painfully clear.

Wrestling needs to learn to be

Johnson and Tony Atlas. Not only that,

The editing was abrupt, the sound

comfortable in its own skin, and

it was a great match that served as a

was sloppy, the background was made

McMahon needs to realise that being

showcase for good old fashioned hard

from cardboard, the graphics were dull

the world’s most profitable wrestling

hitting wrestling and a reminder as to

and lifeless, the set grey and joyless,

organisation is enough. But, then again,

why in-ring psychology is so important.

the comedy was ill conceived, and the

if TNT didn’t persuade him to put the

The final segment of any worth comes

grammar used by the presenters was

brakes on this kind of endeavour thirty

in the form of an interview with Captain

head-scratchingly convoluted.

years ago, nothing will.

WHEN THE SHOW TRIES TO PRODUCE ANYTHING BEYOND PRO WRESTLING ITS FAILINGS BECOME PAINFULLY CLEAR

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 35


WORDS: ADAM KINGHORN

PHOTO: ANTON JACKSON

KING OF THE RING

ALL HAIL

KING BARRETT Adam Kinghorn looks at the beginnging of King Barrett’s reign

36 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


Barrett was the first ever winner of NXT when it was a competition back in 2010.

ith Wrestlemania firmly

is the final reversal of Cena’s preverbal

in the history books, and

shovel from The Nexus days. Formally,

Summerslam still not

‘The King’ would get a World Title shot,

Barrett is the epitome of WWE

visible on the horizon,

as at the moment this looks unlikely, with

underutilising talent, yeah, sure he is

WWE brought back the

the picture being filled with ‘the wrestlers

a 5-time Intercontinental Champion,

old favourite and the highly missed

formally collectively known as The

but every time he won it he goes on a

‘King of the Ring’. However, obscurely,

Shield’, and Mr RKO-outta-knowhere, it

obscure losing streak which devalues

they brought it back in a two-day format

looks as though Barrett will have to wait

the title, him, and his next push. WWE

spanning over a Monday night Raw and

for a World title chance. Although not in

creative can utilise Barrett’s KOTR win,

finishing on a network special. There

the World Title picture at the moment,

by allowing him to win the rumoured

wasn’t much fanfare prior to the ‘event’

King Barrett, (which has a much better

Intercontinental Main Event match at this

and even though it is great to see it

ring than King Mabel) is enthralled in a

years Elimination Chamber. Being ‘The

being brought back after five years, it

deceptively good short programme with,

King’, winning a main-event-chamber

felt a little watered-down and rushed.

arguably the most exciting superstar on

match, and winning the Intercontinental

I’m unsure as to why they rushed this

the roster at the moment, Neville. The

Championship at the same time will not

popular tournament; if the plan was

fact that these two are feuding adds to

only bring huge prestige back to the Title

to entice more WWE Network viewers

the speciality of winning KOTR, as Neville

by it being fought in the unforgivable

then they should have prolonged the

looks to get one back on the King. Its an

structure in a PPV main event, but it will

tournament over multiple weeks, not to

exciting feud that can keep the new King

rocket Barrett to the top. He could carry

mention have slightly bigger stars than

busy, especially in his fantastic Heel role,

the IC title, whilst being the top heel

the pinnacle of youth R-Truth and the

before the Elimination Chamber IC Title

carving his way to his objective of the

Batman villain Stardust - but at least

match, which could kick him into the

World Title.

these two faced each other so they didn’t

World Title picture.

W

ruin too much of the tournament bracket with their presence. Although they did

top heel by himself.

The call to bring back KOTR was The King of the Ring name, and the

fantastic, perhaps it was a test run for

prestige that comes with it, added to

a bigger more outlandish tournament

Barrett’s knack for playing a dictating

next year. Hopefully replacing the

role of a Heel all enticingly combines

ghastly video-game-name-like ‘PPV’

together to allow Barrett to be a unique

Battleground, and perhaps we could

character in the roster of normality at

have another explosive Stone Cold

the moment. With the exception of the

King of the Ring moment that allows a

World Heavyweight

Dust’s (Gold and Star), Bray Wyatt and

decent superstar to become the next

Champions, and

The Dancer who can’t dance Fandango,

face of the WWE. (probably not, keep

not to mention

there is a lack of believable (both from

dreaming). All I know is that Creative got

that ridiculous

the superstars own perspective and the

the result right, and Barrett can flourish

540 splash off

WWE Universe’s) gimmicks within the

as ‘The King’!…But this is the WWE, and

use the tournament well in relation to Neville, who has had a meteoric rise since moving up from NXT with a number of great matches against multiple former WWE and

characters. Barrett suits being

anything can happen, Barrett could end up being the next (King?!) Mabel and

the barricade at the O2 which was unbelievable live and received the biggest pop of the night.

a King, from his portrayed arrogance, to his nationality, to his bully

disappearing

and brutishness and to him being a legit

from sight, which is why we have a

However, when its all said and done,

badass, he plays this role to perfection

weird love/really-hate/have-to-watch

there is only one Coronation of a King,

and hopefully this will allow his career

relationship with this weird world of

and in particular, a British Monarch.

trajectory to become what it once was.

Professional Wrestling. All Hail King

Wade Barrett was the insanely deserved

Barrett was once the top heel in a

Barrett - Boom!

winner of the crown and hopefully this

dominant group, now he can become the

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 37


JAMES STORM

WORDS: SHANE BAYLISS

V

JAMES STORM SPEED ROUND EXCLUSIVELY FOR STEELCHAIR VIPS 38 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


Tna’s revolution leader speaks!

JAMES STORM ames Storm is one TNA’s

Thanks for bringing up the past and

most accomplished

painful memories, it’s one of those

competitors, holding

things! I always look forward to these

THERE’S RECENTLY BEEN SOME

the TNA Tag-Team Titles

tours, I go out there and give my all and

TENSION BETWEEN YOU AND

six times as well as

you kind of remember what happened

MAGNUS, WHICH SEEMS TO BE

holding the TNA World Heavyweight Title.

last year. That way you can go out and

HEADING ONLY ONE WAY WHICH IS

We caught up with the leader of the

have a better performance than you did

A SHOWDOWN AT SLAMIVERSARY,

Revolution, to discuss his time with TNA,

last year, and that’s our goal see if we

DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE FEUD IS

his current issues with Magnus and also

can top what we did last year, and the

GOING?

the companies return to the UK.

fans never let us down. To me it’s kind

J

ain’t working.

of hard also because they love to cheer

I don’t know what Magnus’s problem

YOU’VE JUST ANNOUNCED THE

me because I’ve been coming there for

is, I just came out to help a friend. But

MAXIMUM IMPACT 8 TOUR, DO YOU

so long, so it’s hard for me to be a heel

I kind of think that’s where it’s headed,

ENJOY COMING OVER HERE AND

because they know that I love to go out

Slammiversary is one of the biggest

WRESTLING IN FRONT OF THE UK?

and drink beer with them.

PPVs for the company, that and Bound for Glory. To be able to wrestle Magnus

Yeah, I’ve been there for the last seven

at Slammiversary would be great

so this’ll be the eighth one that I’ve

because he’s come so far from when he

been a part of. It’s a whole different atmosphere, to me the UK fans love to have fun. I always say I hate when people buy tickets and sit there and stare at you, wrestlers like any entertainer love to feed off the crowd. If the crowd are out there having fun it fuels the entertainer, and they have fun especially with us in

HELL YOU PAID HARD EARNED MONEY, GO OUT THERE AND HAVE A GOOD TIME

first started here, and he spoke with me and Bobby Roode at the time, him and Doug Williams just to get him into the American style of wrestling and get him used to being in front of the US crowd. I tell everybody, this guy eats, breathes and sleeps professional wrestling now just so he can be at the top of the game.

the ring. I love people to make noise, whether it’s booing or cheering. Hell you

IS THERE PART OF YOU THAT WISHES,

paid hard earned money, go out there

AS HARSH AS IT IS THAT YOU’D JUST

and have a good time.

THERE IS ALWAYS THAT PLACE FOR

LEFT MICKIE TO BRAM? BECAUSE YOU

ANTI-HEROES.

HAVE HELPED A FRIEND, AND YOU’VE

WILL THERE BE ANY BAD FEELINGS

GOT A LOAD OF SHIT FOR IT.

AND MEMORIES COMING BACK,

Yeah! I did Austin’s podcast a year ago,

BECAUSE YOU AND ABYSS LOST THE

and I told him he messed it up for all us

Yeah! I’m sure you’ve seen it or heard it,

TAG-TITLES TO THE WOLVES ON LAST

heels, all the fans want to cheer for heels

any time a guy helps a girl, automatically

IMPACT! TOUR?

now. So he was telling everybody on his

somebody thinks “oh, he just wants to

podcast to boo James Storm, but it still

sleep with her” or “he’s got a motive.” >

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 39


JAMES STORM These days you can’t just help out a

YOU’VE GOT TO BE ABLE TO THINK ON

but not too long, right before they get

friend. I don’t get it, I never understood

YOUR FEET, AND CHANGE THINGS AT A

tired of it and then turn it.

it! We were doing the storyline, and I

MOMENT NOTICE. YOU’VE HELD THE TAG-TEAM TITLES

said let’s just do this and see how it goes over on social media and all this stuff,

Exactly!

AND ARE TNA’S TAG-TEAM SPECIALIST, BUT YOU HAVE COMPETED ALONE

and if people are like “he’s just helping out a friend” we’ll go one direction and

MOVING ONTO THE RELATIONSHIP

AND HELD THE TNA TITLE. IS SINGLES

it’s something else we’ll go a different

WITH THE REVOLUTION, YOU SEEM

COMPETITION YOU’D LIKE TO RETURN

direction, and of course it was the

TO LEAD THOSE BY FEAR. ARE YOU

TO AND EXPLORE IN THE FUTURE?

something else. “Don’t trust him, he’s got

WORRIED THAT THAT’S GOING TO

a motive blah blah blah” so we said this

BACKFIRE ON YOU AT ANY POINT, OR

I love singles competition, not to sound

is the storyline we’ll go with.

DO YOU THINK IT’LL KEEP THOSE

selfish I want the spotlight to myself. I’ve

GUYS IN LINE FOR THE FORESEEABLE

shared the spotlight for thirteen years,

FUTURE?

and now I want the spotlight to myself. I

IT’S INTERESTING YOU BRING UP SOCIAL MEDIA, BECAUSE THAT WAS SOMETHING I WAS GOING TO TOUCH ON LATER. THERE ARE A LOT OF WRESTLERS THAT QUITE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA, YOURSELF BEING ONE OF THEM. DO YOU THINK AS TIME GOES ON THAT IS GOING TO BE IMPERATIVE IN DRIVING STORYLINES, BECAUSE YOU ARE GETTING WRESTLERS THAT ARE PUSHING STORY LINES. DO YOU SEE THAT AS SOMEWHERE THE INDUSTRY IS GOING, A MORE INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE WITH FANS AND WRESTLERS? Yeah, I really think it will. When I grew up

SO HE (STEVE AUSTIN) WAS TELLING EVERYBODY ON HIS PODCAST TO BOO JAMES STORM, BUT IT STILL AIN’T WORKING.

think me and Kurt Angle, with me being a heel would be a really good feud, me and Bobby Lashley would be great. But at the same time, I don’t really care about the belt. At the end of the day my job, the reason I got into wrestling is to provide for my family. When I go to the bank, they never ask me “are you world champion” they always ask me “is this going in your checking or savings account?” I think a lot of the guys get caught up in “I have to be world champion, to be looked at as a star.” No, you don’t have to be, I think we’ve got to get away from that. That’s not what I thought about when I thought about being a wrestler, to me I always

wrestling we didn’t have internet, so if

wanted to provide for my family. Don’t

you wanted to meet a wrestler or talk to

get me wrong, it does feel good to be

a wrestler you had to wait outside behind

When I went to them, and we talked

champion, because a lot of people see

the arena and hopefully they’ll come

about this whole thing, I told to take

that as the company having faith in you

over and talk to you, and give you an

the example and not that I’d do it, of

to carry the company.

autograph or something. But now we’ve

someone who beats a dog. You can only

got all this social media! I think it’s really

beat a dog for so long, and eventually

HOW MUCH OF THE JAMES STORM

cool that fans can interact with some of

he’s going to bite you. He’s finally going

CHARACTER IS YOURSELF? YOU’VE

their favourite wrestlers, or interact with

to finally be backed into that corner

SAID THAT YOU LIKE TO GO OUT

some of their not favourite wrestlers. It’s

where he’s going to take whatever

AND HAVE A BEER, HAVE YOU PUT

a different time now, I think that wrestling

consequence there is, and he’s going

YOURSELF IN IT FROM THE START AND

has to adapt to social media, because a

to bite their ass. And that’s what I told

THE CHARACTER IS PRETTY MUCH ALL

lot of the minds to me that run wrestling

them, let me keep beating the hell out

YOU?

are stuck in the late 80s or 90s whatever

of these guys, sooner or later let one

before we had all this social media and

bite me and lets go from there. Take a

When I was doing the whole babyface

we had to keep everything quiet, now to

chance on making an instant really good

James Storm, I went to Vince Russo and

me it has to be thought of differently,

babyface, and I actually think that’s

I said “why don’t we do me, and let me

planned accordingly to social media,

happening with Manic right now. People

go out and be myself” and I remember

instead of social media planned to

are starting to cheer for Manic, and they

he had some stuff written for me and I

professional wrestling.

want to see him turn against me. I told

remember thinking “I would never say

them to drag it out as long as possible,

that.” So I went to him and said “can’t I

40 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15


James Storm made his TNA Impact debut back in 2002

just go out there and say what I want to

ask me for advice or “hey will you watch

singer of the Smashing Pumpkins. But

say, and if I’m wrong and I’ll come back

this and tell me what you think.” So

the more I spoke with him, he knows

and do it your way” and he said “sure.” I

that’s pretty cool at the end of the day.

what he’s talking about, he is a huge

remember going out and I killed it, and I

wrestling fan. At the end of the day

went back and he said “from now on do

SO YOU’VE GOT KIND OF A SENIOR

wrestling fans don’t want be insulted

it your way.” Since then TNA has believed

FACE IN THE LOCKER ROOM. DO YOU

by some silly storyline, they want to be

in me enough to go out there and let me

HAVE ANY PART IN TRAINING OR

able to believe in the storyline and that

get the point across in my own words.

ANYTHING BACKSTAGE?

it can actually happen. When we were

That whole babyface character is me just amplified up a little bit.

talking I said that some of my favourite My job is to show up and wrestle, but I

movies are Jason (Friday 13th) or Texas

think the guys look at me as one of the

Chainsaw Masacre, movies that can

That must be quite freeing, to be able to

locker-room leaders because I’ve been

be real. There is a movie called The

do what you want to do? I spoke to Drew

there so long and I know what it takes

Strangers, people show up at someones

a few weeks back, and the whole thing

to be on top, to cut great promos and

house and kill them just because they

with him joining was TNA saying “you do

set up a match with good psychology

were home. Those are the movies that

what you want to do.” It must be nice to

to it not just move after move. A lot of

scare me, because those movies can

have that option to be yourself.

guys know that, and they’ve seen that

actually happen, not movies like Freddy

so they’ll come up and ask me and I’ll

Kruger. I like those movies, but they can

I think TNA realises it comes off a lot

tell them “I’m going to tell you like it is,

never happen. To me wrestling fans want

better, and doesn’t seem as hokey and

whether you like it or not” and they take

storylines that can actually happen!

pre-planned or whatever, just let guys go

it in their stride and a lot of them listen

out there and be themselves. Because

to me.

Gone are the days of the Boogeyman

that’s what you signing, you signing

and things that go bump in the night,

these guys as characters of themselves,

TALKING CREATIVELY BILLY CORGAN

the more mythical characters. It’s more

so just let them be them.

HAS JUST SIGNED ON, HAVE YOU

about psychological horrors now?

SPOKE TO HIM? WILL HE BE PLAYING YOUR ONE OF THE LONGEST

ANY PART IN WHAT YOU ARE DOING?

SERVING MEMBERS OF THE ROSTER

Wrestling was the best when it had characters, but not all the fictional

ALONGSIDE ABYSS, AS TALENT FROM

I’m not exactly sure his role and what

characters that can’t happen. To me I

THE ORGINAL SHOWS. DOES THAT

he’s

thought the Undertaker was really cool,

GIVE YOU THE SENSE OF HAVING

I

SOMETHING EXTRA INVESTED IN THE COMPANY BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN THERE SO LONG? I’ve put thirteen years into the company, I’ve had opportunities to go other places and do other things but Dixie and

going to be doing, but had a chance to talk to him at the last TV taping we had

I grew up watching him, and Shawn Michaels was a different character and King Kamala. You can sprinkle in these

because I didn’t

characters, but at the end of the day

really know much

you’ve got to make it so that people

of him other

think “this shit could really happen.”

than that he’s the lead

OUTSIDE OF TNA, A LOT OF

TNA have been very loyal to me

THE OTHER GUYS TOUR THE

and I want to repay the favour

INDEPENDENT PROMOTIONS. DO YOU

and stay loyal to them. There

DO MUCH ON THE INDEPENDENT

have been hard times, and

SCENE?

there have been great times, but at the end of the day we

You know, I’m more one of those guys

have one of the best and

where I pick and chose. I don’t want to

most talented locker rooms

start doing all these independents, and

in professional wrestling.

to me that keeps my value up by not

It’s cool that some of the

going out wearing myself down by doing

younger guys are coming in,

every single independent. I have a three

but at other times it makes

year old son, so it’s really cool to just be

me feel old, they come up and

home with him.

JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 41


QUIZ

COMPILED: RICHARD HART

Rumour has it the Curb Stomp is currently banned while a concussion hearing is on

THE STEELCHAIR CONCUSSION QUIZ 1. Who won the first Pay Per View Royal Rumble? 2. Who was the first tag team to have won the NWA, WCW and WWE tag team titles?

10. Paul Roma, Paul Orndorf, Sid Vicious, Steve McMichael, which one was never a Horseman? 11. Who is most famous in Japan as the masked worker “Curry Man”?

3. Who were the three men who wrestled the ECW’s infamous first ever triple threat match?

12. Who was the last ever (original) ECW champion?

4. And who won that match?

13. Which Japanese wrestler innovated the incredible Ocean Cyclone Suplex?

5. Who knocked Leon “Vader” White’s eye clean out of his head in a fierce brawl?

14. And which Japanese wrestler innovated the CM Punk favorite the Anaconda vise?

6. Which wrestler holds the record of the most five star matches according to David Metlzer?

15. Who put John Cena over for his first WWE world title?

7. Who was ROH’s second ever world champion?

16. When Macho Man Randy Savage won the WWF title for the first time, who did he beat?

8. Who portrayed the WWE’s risible fake Razor Ramon and fake Diesel? 9. How many WWF/ WWE titles did Jake the Snake win during his two tenures with the company?

14 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15

17. Which indie worker proposed that the future of wrestling involved ladders that can change shape and wrestling with cats and dogs?

18. Who snapped Brock Lesnar’s first title run? 19. And while we’re on inexplicable people snapping winning streaks: who broke Goldberg’s winning streak? 20. Finish this legendary quote “Sullivan, my son?

WIN!

Email your answers to quiz@steelchairmag.com to joing our mailing list and we’ll pick a winner at the end of the month.


V

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