Look Back at 2013 in Wrestling, WWE Poised for Big 2014

Brian, Steven and Michael from Between The Ropes are back for the weekly Flagship show as they back at 2013 in wrestling including their thoughts on the match of the year, superstar of the year, the biggest news story, the best feud and more.  Plus, they look ahead to 2014 in what could be a very big year for the WWE with the expected launch of the WWE Network and how they could transform their business.

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2013 Tag-Team of the Year

In recent years, it seems like tag-team wrestling has taken a back seat to singles competition.  Compared to the tag-team division of the late 80s and 90s, modern sports entertainment has seemed content to pair up random singles wrestlers to be partners, in a “throw it on the wall and see what sticks” mentality.  And it’s been…. fine.  Luckily, WWE decided to up its game in 2013.  We finally got to see some lower-to-mid card acts rise as the company refocused on building legitimate teams.  And, perhaps most surprisingly, WWE’s tag-team competition became more interesting than a certain other major wrestling organization.  But which team rose to the top? [Read more...]

2013 Pay-Per-View of the Year

This was the year that TNA decided to pretty much give up on the Pay-Per-View business – they reduced their major pay events to only four, and filled up the rest of their required dates with various specialty shows.  The gamble didn’t exactly pay off.  Similarly, WWE became more long-term focused on its own network, while at the same time witnessing buy rates rise and fall.  Still, building towards the “big show” is in the fabric of pro-wrestling.  So which one delivered most in 2013? [Read more...]

Daniel Bryan Joins the Wyatt Family, Brock Lesnar Returns on Final WWE Raw of 2013

RAW_1075_Photo_234Brian and Steve discuss the final WWE Raw of 2013 including Daniel Bryan in a shocking turn of events joining the Wyatt Family, Brock Lesnar making his return alongside Paul Heyman, The Shield coming closer to breaking up, Batista returning to the WWE and the talk of his “stealing” someone’s spot, possible plans leading up to and through WrestleMania 30, The Rock announcing his plans for that show, Jeff Jarrett leaving TNA Wrestling, AJ Styles working for Ring of Honor and his future with TNA and more.

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2013 Heel of the Year

For all that is good in professional wrestling, our heroes would have nothing to fight about if not for the heel characters that cause anguish at every turn.  It’s classic booking 101: the babyface chases the heel, and crowds pay good money to see him or her get their revenge. Not every bad-guy in 2013 was worth writing home about, but a few stood out above the rest. [Read more...]

2013 Biggest News Story of the Year

Half of the business of professional wrestling is the wrestling itself – the other half is the drama that exists outside the ring.  Internet “dirt sheets” report the news, including any rumors and speculations that exists, and wrestling fans everywhere clamor for any bit of new information they can find.  2013 was full of surprises – including an openly gay wrestler in WWE, one of the founding members of TNA jumping ship, and a house show debacle that had many scratching their heads.  And unfortunately, a number of people in the biz lost their jobs, but one in particular was perhaps more shocking than all the rest combined. [Read more...]

The Best of 2013: Professional Wrestling

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Ask any wrestling fan – 2013 was a mixed bag.  There were great matches, there were terrible matches… Some superstars escalated to new heights while others (Zach Ryder,  sorry broski) found themselves relegated to Main Event and, worse, Saturday Morning Slam. Professional Wrestling found itself in the news for both good things, and not-so-good things. Pay-Per-View buy rates fell.  TNA stopped even caring about Pay-Per-Views. TNA also stopped caring about ratings.  Or the talent roster.  Hulk Hogan became unemployed, as did Bruce Pritchard, D-Lo Brown, AJ Styles, and even Jim Ross. CM Punk ended his historic 434-day title reign against The Rock, losing a championship that would find itself unified with the World Heavyweight Championship by year’s end.  Pro Wrestling stayed in a slump, but still delivered a year chocked full of fan-pleasing matches. [Read more...]

Jeff Jarrett Gone From TNA

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In a surprising announcement, Jeff Jarrett is officially gone from TNA Wrestling. Jarrett announced on Twitter a short time ago that he was leaving the company.

Jarrett co-founded TNA in 2002 with his father Jerry after WCW was bought out by the WWE in 2001, which Jeff was a talent with at that time and wasn’t wanted by the WWE. Jarrett was TNA world champion on and off between 2002-2006.

More recently, Jarrett had been working behind the scenes at TNA events.

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WWE Raw Features Wrestling, More Details on WWE TV Rights Deals

RAW_bryanortonBrian and Steve are back for the weekly WWE Raw podcast including all of the wrestling on the show including a fantastic main event between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels appearing on Raw again and if he will return to the ring and, if so, who he may face, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton being tied together, the Variety article on the WWE negotiating their new TV deals and some of the most interesting aspects of the  article, AJ Styles and TNA Wrestling and more.

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Feel free to leave your comments below.

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AJ Styles Gives Statement on Contract Status, Leaving TNA Wrestling

AJ-Styles-HeaderFor the first time since the company began, AJ Styles is officially no longer and employee of TNA Wrestling.

Styles and the company could not come to terms on a new contract.  Now, the former TNA World Champion is officially a free agent.

Styles issued the following statement regarding his contract status and leaving TNA Wrestling.

MY STATEMENT ON TNA CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS 12/16/13

Today for the first time in 11 years, AJ Styles awakes to find himself without a professional wrestling contract. I can’t help but think how did I get here, what must I have done wrong, did I not deliver in the ring, etc. All of those are pertinent questions that any man or woman who finds himself or herself unemployed would ask.

I have always prided myself in being the wrestler that stays away from the things in this business that could easily destroy myself, my family, my marriage, and even my career. A wrestler who goes above and beyond to give the fans what they paid to see.

I move forward not bitter, but better for the blessings and memories that I have been a part of since TNA’s inception.

When this contract renegotiation journey started several months ago, my wife and I began praying for God to close doors that needed to be closed and to open the doors that He wanted us to walk through. We asked him to prepare us for this journey and to help us to have the faith to be obedient to what He would have us to do. I am assured by the name Immanuel in Matthews 1:23 that I will never be alone. Hebrews 13.5, says He will never leave us or forsake us. There is a lot in this world that I am unsure of, especially in this moment, but there is one thing that I am certain. Contracts may expire, but the promise of Immanuel will never expire.

As my family and I move forward with my wrestling career, we will turn to Jabez’s prayer found in 1 Chronicles 4:10.

Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your hand would be with me,
and that You would keep me from evil.

My family and I are both grateful for the platform that TNA has allowed me to experience. TNA has been a blessing to our family for many years. We have made many friendships and many more memories. While you may not be seeing AJ Styles in TNA, you can be sure that he will be traveling the world and delivering many more Phenomenal matches. Visit AJStyles.org for a complete list of bookings.

Sincerely,

AJ Styles

Thoughts on AJ Styles no longer being with TNA Wrestling?  Leave your comments below.

More on WWE Network, Hot Ending to WWE Raw and WWE TLC 2013 PPV

TLC-OrtonCenaOn this week’s BTR Flagship, Brian and Michael talk about the WWE Network and what it is expected to look like, the downgrading of WWE pay-per-views, the hot finish to Raw on Monday night and the many different directions that can go in now, the WWE TLC PPV coming up on Sunday with some predictions and more.

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WWE Raw Comes Alive With Spectacular Final Segment, People Really Like Daniel Bryan

RAW_1072_Photo_191Brian and Steve talk about WWE Raw from Monday night including a spectacular final segment, all the different directions the company could possibly go in now, the reaction to Daniel Bryan and how the fans are demanding for more of him, the smarts of John Cena, how this could play into the WWE TLC PPV on Sunday, more WrestleMania 30 speculation when it comes to matches, the Slammy Awards, WWE Network, AJ Styles done with TNA Wrestling and more.

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WWE Network is Coming, WWE TLC 2013, Slammys and AJ Styles Possibly Done with TNA Wrestling

WwenetworklogoThe Flagship is back as Brian, Steve and Michael first get into a heated discussion about our college teams and Steve finally pays up on a bet. Then the guys talk about some promotions within the WWE which are leading to the impending launch of the WWE Network, how exactly the network could work and the many possibilities, Triple H now in charge of the creative team along with Vince McMahon, the WWE TLC 2013 pay-per-view which is less than two weeks away, their disappointment in WWE storylines and if they see that changing anytime soon, the Slammys coming to Raw on Monday and also the possibility of TNA Wrestling original AJ Styles leaving the company.

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WWE Raw Recap, Michael Strahan Is Having Fun

RAW_1070_PhotoBrian and Steve talk WWE Raw from Monday night which was another lackluster show, Michael Strahan handing out hip tosses to The Miz and Titus O’Neil, the Survivor Series rematch of the Divas elimination match, the upcoming match between John Cena and Randy Orton at the TLC pay-per-view and if it will be a unification match, other possible matches on that show, what has happened in the WWE since the summer, Jake Roberts dream of buying TNA and more.

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Jake Roberts Wants To Buy TNA

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WWE legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts talked recently with Steve and the Scum on WGD Weekly. Roberts discussed his interest in wanting to buy TNA and how he run the company. You can watch the complete interview here.

Wanting to But TNA: “I want to run an Indigogo and raise the money to buy that son of a bitch and do it right. Not to be in competition with Vince (McMahon), but to do wrestling the way I liked it. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. But now I hear the guy from Smashing Pumpkins is snatching it, so maybe I should just buy the band Smashing Pumpkins and go on with my life and start singing.”

How he would run the company: “I got all the thoughts, bro. There ain’t nobody better at that. I would make it simple, there would be good guys and there would be bad guys. There wouldn’t be no bull**** and there wouldn’t be twenty minute interviews. We would actually, ‘rassle, the world needs it man.”

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TNA Impact Wrestling Spoilers For Thursday December 12

Chris Sabin Champion

Over the weekend, TNA taped more editions for Impact Wrestling at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. TNA taped the December 12 edition of Impact Wrestling.

- There was a segment with Bad Influence where they revealed that Joseph Park has not been an attorney for ten years as he claimed. They attacked Park until Eric Young made the save, which set up a tag match.

- EC3 defeated Earl Hebner.
- Austin Aries defeated Chris Sabin (w/Velvet Sky) to win the X Division Title.
- Gail Kim came out for her open challenge. ODB came out and wanted to fight Lei’D Tapa. The heels got the better of ODB until the returning Madison Rayne made the save.
- Joseph Park and Eric Young defeated Christopher Daniels and Kazarian.
- EC3, Gunner, Zema Ion, and Chavo Guerrero secured briefcases in a feast of famine match. The briefcases, which contain contracts for a TNA Title shot, a tag title shot, an X Division title shot, and a firing) will be opened at a later date.

Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.

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TNA Impact Wrestling Spoilers For Thursday December 5

Impact Wrestling

TNA has taken Impact Wrestling off the road and headed back to taping their shows at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. TNA has been taping editions of Impact Wrestling and they taped the December 5th edition of the show.

- Jeff Hardy beat Bobby Roode in a tables match to advance in the TNA Title tournament.
- Magnus beat Kurt Angle in a Last Man Standing match to advance in the TNA Title tournament.
- Gail Kim defeated an independent wrestler.

Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.

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TNA Impact Wrestling Rating Dips Slightly, Viewership Rises

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TNA aired a themed edition of Impact Wrestling on Thursday night called Turning Point. When the company runs these pay-per-view themed editions of Impact, it usually gets an uptick in the ratings.

Impact drew a 0.95 rating with an average of 1.19 million viewers. The rating is slightly down from last week’s 0.96 rating, but there was a rise in viewership as last week’s average was 1.1 million viewers.

The highlights of the show were the TNA world title tournament matches featuring Samoa Joe vs Magnus and James Storm vs Bobby Roode. The main event featured Mr. Anderson vs Bully Ray in a no disqualification match in where if Anderson won, Aces and Eights had to disband. If Ray won, then Anderson had to leave TNA. Anderson ended up winning and the Aces and Eights are no more.

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