Wrestling history in the making

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We did say Sasha Banks and her “sisters of battle” in World Wrestling Entertainment are out to make history. Well, they’re set to do that again on Oct 30 (that’s the morning of Oct 31 in Malaysia) at the Raw-exclusive pay-per-view Hell In A Cell (HIAC).

For the first time ever, the WWE Raw Women’s Champion and her challenger Charlotte will compete inside the brutal match known as Hell In A Cell. Sure, there have been steel cage matches between women wrestlers before, and even Total Nonstop Action’s punishing Six Sides Of Steel saw lady grapplers such as Gail Kim and Jacqueline step inside.

But this one … well, that’s a whole different ball game. Remember, this is the kind of match in which the Undertaker makes people famous (and since the Deadman is slowing down a bit, Shane McMahon decided to make himself famous at this year’s WrestleMania).

So, who will become famous at the end of Sasha and Charlotte’s collision at HIAC? Sasha has recently recovered from a back injury, while Charlotte bills herself as the genetically superior of the two. Expect pain.

Three matches inside the imposing steel structure have been set for the PPV. The other three are also championship matches: US Champ Roman Reigns will take on Rusev, and Universal Champ Kevin Owens defends his title against Seth Rollins.

Other matches set for the event include Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins defending his belt against The Brian Kendrick, who used to be the guy the champ looked up to; and the New Day, your W…W…E…tag… – ah, you know the rest – will face the scratch team of Sheamus and Cesaro, two guys who can barely stand each other.

The Women’s Championship match has certainly put HIAC 2016 in the books even before the event gets under way!


Goldberg variations

To be honest, wrestling legend Bill Goldberg doesn’t have that many variations: a declaration of “You’re next!”, a beatdown, a Spear and a Jackhammer, and that’s usually it for his opponents.

His collision with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX took a lot out of both men and Goldberg hasn’t been in a WWE ring since that day in March 2004. That changed this week on Raw, when he showed up to declare that maybe he’s got one more @$$-kicking left in him – and “Brock Lesnar, you’re next!”

The fan reaction on Raw was pretty amazing considering he hasn’t been around for 12 years, but the impending clash with the Beast Incarnate should be interesting. Will WWE continue to build Lesnar as the unstoppable brute who tore through John Cena, the Undertaker and Randy Orton by having him demolish Goldberg, who has only seen wrestling action twice since his WWE departure – at Legends of Wrestling last year?

The Lesnar-Goldberg clash will most likely take place at Survivor Series, but for now fans are still soaking in the nostalgia of hearing those “Goldberg … Goldberg …” chants echoing around a wrestling arena once more. Who’s next?

Bill Goldberg is back, and Brock Lesnar is next The powerhouse returned to Raw this week and fans brought the house down in anticipation of his upcoming match against the Beast Incarnate.

Bill Goldberg is back, and Brock Lesnar is next The powerhouse returned to Raw this week and fans brought the house down in anticipation of his upcoming match against the Beast Incarnate.


No retirement from No Mercy

Smackdown Live’s own exclusive PPV, No Mercy on Oct 10 (Malaysian time), saw Dolph Ziggler saving his career by beating The Miz to become the new Intercontinental Champion. Ziggler had earlier put his job on the line by vowing to retire if he failed to wrest the belt from Miz, who really cranked up the intensity in the weeks leading up to the bout.

The event also saw AJ Styles retaining the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating both John Cena and Dean Ambrose in their Triple Threat match, while Randy Orton extended his Summerslam TKO loss at Brock Lesnar’s hands to a PPV losing streak when he got pinned by Bray Wyatt.

Smackdown Women’s Champ Becky Lynch was declared unable to compete owing to injury, leaving challenger Alexa Bliss fuming. She didn’t stay opponent-free for long, because Naomi showed up and handily beat her to throw the top contender scene out of balance!

Oh, and Heath Slater-Rhyno successfully defended their tag-team titles against the now-bad Usos. When they say “Uuu”, you say “cares?”


TNA turbulence

Not much has been heard from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling around these parts since their programmes stopped airing on local TV/pay-TV. Er, right? Give us a shout if you know of any channel/service on which it’s available.

The company had apparently been facing financial difficulties of late. According to the Oct 2 edition of the syndicated Piledriver column by Byron Robinson of the Montgomery Advertiser in Alabama: “Many were speculating this weekend could be the end of the Total Nonstop Action promotion with rumoured reports of the company being for sale and TNA having a lack of funds to produce Sunday’s pay-per-view event, Bound For Glory.

“But The New York Post is reporting that TNA received funds from an unidentified third party, which allows it to air the pay-per-view and produce next week’s Impact Wrestling TV tapings, with the expectation that it will buy the company time through mid-December or the end of the year.

“Numerous reports indicate that TNA were in talks with WWE and Billy Corgan concerning the sale.” Yes, that’s the Smashing Pumpkins frontman himself, who began investing in TNA in June with a view to buying it, and who was named its president in August, replacing Dixie Carter.

However, the entertainment website The Wrap.com reported that on Oct 13, Corgan had filed a lawsuit in Nashville, Tennessee against TNA, Carter and various other parties and obtained a temporary restraining order, although details of the court order were sealed at his request. A hearing is set for today.

Numerous TNA superstars including AJ Styles, Samoe Joe and TJ Perkins are now with WWE and its “development” show NXT. Among the talents still working in TNA are Bobby Lashley, Matt Hardy and Gail Kim.

Various reports online said TNA personalities had noted “tension” between Carter and Corgan and speculated that the company’s long-term future might have to be settled in a Nashville court.


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