An intro to rev pro
gwf roster revealed
SAMOA JOE JOINS NXT
KID FITE DONNOVAN DIJAK KEVIN GILL
STRANGEST MATCHES OF
ALL TIME THE MAGIC OF TV
JAMES STORM DREW GALLOWAY KING BARRETT
2015 // ISSUE 3
// win a wrestlemania 31 bluray //
BRAND NEW OFFICE T-SHIRTS
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WELCOME FROM THE EDITOR
EDITORIAL David Garlick Editor / Design email@example.com
Alan Book Deputy Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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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JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 03
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MATCHES OF THE MONTH
SASHA BANKS VS
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
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.
OF THE MONTH
Two months in a row Sasha Banks has a
TYSON KIDD & CESARO VS THE
EVENT OF OF THE MONTH
NEW DAY PAYBACK
WWE’s two best tag teams engaged in
a brilliant two out of three falls match showing just why tag team wrestling is a prominent feature once again
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
06 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15
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.
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
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
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
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
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
$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
WORDS: SHANE BAYLISS
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.
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?
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
stoked I am to see what Corgan can do to TNA’s pretty stale story-lines.
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
WORDS: ALAN BOON
LINUS REPORT: WWE PAYBACK Alan Boon shares his indepth thoughts on WWE’s Payback
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.
COURTESY OF WWE VIDEOS WE’VE COPIES OF WRESTLEMANIA 31 TO GIVEAWAY
HEAD OVER TO OUR TWITTER @STEELCHAIRMAG FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A BLURAY COPY OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2015
20 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15
WORDS: LEE HAZELL
He’s back! Jarrett talks gwf with us
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.
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
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
VS. SHAWN MICHAELS IN YOUR HOUSE 2
Both the peak and the end of Jeff’s first WWF run.
THE FACES OF GWF
VS. KURT ANGLE TNA GENESIS 2009
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,
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
Jeff Jarrett was a four time World Heavyweight Champion – was brought up by Vince McMahon in
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
Formerly known as Chris Masters
with Jeff Jarrett through Ring Ka King, the Indian arm of the TNA
+ JERRY LAWLER
Wrestling corporation. Mordetsky’s
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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,
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
@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
30 STEELCHAIR JUNE 2O15
WORDS: SHANE BAYLISS
a current 5 time title holder, he made some time for us!
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
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
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.
to become the first travelling world
Tommy Dreamer text me, said they >
JUNE 2O15 STEELCHAIR 31
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
these two faced each other so they didn’t
World Title picture.
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
Dust’s (Gold and Star), Bray Wyatt and
decent superstar to become the next
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
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
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
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
WORDS: SHANE BAYLISS
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
painful memories, it’s one of those
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
the companies return to the UK.
fans never let us down. To me it’s kind
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
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
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,
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
thought the Undertaker was really cool,
GIVE YOU THE SENSE OF HAVING
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
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
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?
Email your answers to email@example.com to joing our mailing list and we’ll pick a winner at the end of the month.
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In this month's issue of SteelChair Jeff Jarrett talks to us about his new promotion GFW and we have interviews with James Storm and Drew Ga...