Brian and Steve are back to discuss Old School WWE Raw from Monday night with legends returning to the show including Ric Flair and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, if WWE should have ended the show different following Roman Reigns big win, Daniel Bryan making his television debut with the Wyatt Family, the Brock Lesnar segment with Mark Henry and Big Show and more. Plus, more talk about Lesnar about him still talking with UFC about a potential fight, Jerry Lawler’s health scare, Dolph Zigger sidelined again, Jeff Jarrett’s next project and more.
Brian Fritz talks with Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net about wrestling in 2013, if it was a good year overall or not and what stood out either in a positive or negative way. Plus, they talk about certain business decisions made, WrestleMania 30, the upcoming WWE Network and the challenges with it, the WWE’s new TV rights deal, where TNA stands heading into the new year and plenty more.
When bad things happen, they happen in bunches and that is what is going on right now with TNA wrestling. PWInsider.com is reporting that TNA will not be taping any editions of Impact Wrestling at Universal Studios in 2014. That is due to the soundstage studios where Impact was taped being booked for other production projects.
TNA after losing an enormous amount of money returned to Universal Studios in November to tape numerous episodes of Impact that go through this Thursday’s show. After that, the company will tape shows in Huntsville, Alabama for the Genesis show on January 16. After that, TNA will head to Europe to tape numerous editions of Impact.
For every rivalry that takes place, for every great promo delivered in (and out of) the ring, and for every backstage news that sends fans to Twitter in a frenzy, the most important drama takes place when fireworks disappear and the lights go down. A collar-and-elbow position signals the oldest type of storytelling in the business. It means that two wrestlers are going to finally settle their business, and no matter happens between the opening and closing bells, fans in attendance and at home better buckle their seat-belts. And so with that in mind, we pick the battles that won over our hearts and minds this year… [Read more...]
Professional Wrestling really about the star power of in-ring performers. Today’s top guys mean big money on television, Pay-Per-View, and at the merchandise stand. But those big draws aren’t going to be around forever, and so the business has to keep building up new talent to take their place. This was a major focus area for WWE in 2013. With the debut of the new training facility in Florida, and more high-profile matches for under card talent, the company seemed determine to start packing away for the next era of superstars. But which talent really came into their own this past calendar year? [Read more...]
One of the main reasons wrestling fans tune in each week is because they love to be surprised. And because of its scripted nature, professional wrestling can offer those big, shocking moments in a much more strategic way that most other sports programs. Cliffhangers you can’t miss? Good guy/bad guy turns? Dramatic run-ins and historic battles? They’re all a piece of the squared-circle fabric. While the internet made genuine surprises much harder to pull off in 2013, than, say, decades prior, a handful of moments still kept us on the edge of our seats. [Read more...]
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.
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...]
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...]
Brian 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.
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...]
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...]
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...]
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.
On December 22nd, 2013 I officially resigned from TNA Entertainment. Thanks to everyone involved for all the fantastic memories! #grateful
— Jeff Jarrett (@JeffJarrettTNA) December 23, 2013
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.
Brian 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.
Feel free to leave your comments below.
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.
Thoughts on AJ Styles no longer being with TNA Wrestling? Leave your comments below.
On 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.
Brian 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.