Welcome to Seven Things, a list that will run weekly and consist of very eclectic topics. These are of my opinions and doesn’t express the views of others on WrestlingOnEarth.
The first edition of Seven Things in 2014! I have some interesting ideas in the works for future Seven Things columns but for most of January, I am hoping to focus on some forecasting for 2014.
Year end reviews are always fun to write about but the launch of a new year should create fresh ideas, new hopes and a positive outlook to everything, including wrestling. These are some of the matches I would like to see in 2014 via various promotions.
I tried to pick a different promotion for each match but ended up having to go with two WWE matches to fill out the list. Enjoy!
7. The American Sting Rays vs. The Bro Mans: TNA
The Bro Mans with DJ Zema Ion are currently the best act in TNA and criminally underrated in the current landscape of entertaining characters in wrestling. I don’t care what your natural instinct to rebut is telling you! They are spot on with this gimmick.
Davey Richards and Eddie “Eddie Edwards” Edwards were unfortunately turned down by WWE after their NXT internship and rumors say a certain pastry enthusiast with clout in TNA is hoping to bring them in. The American Sting Rays is my educated guess of TNA’s answer to The American Pitbulls.
A match-up of this caliber sounds like an “ironic” choice on the surface but I think it would lead to an interesting program. Both teams are excellent at what they offer but both have some perceived weaknesses. The Wolves are on point in the ring but many “in the biz” critic their ability to tell a story with their matches or characters. The Bro Mans are stellar at their bit but many fans are none too pleased when it comes to their in ring skills. Aside from a fun program, both teams would probably be better for it in the long run.
Disclaimer: I know if this feud really happened, while it would be really fun, the losing team would then be off TV for months after and forgotten in true TNA fashion.
6. Biff Busick vs. Willie Mack: CZW
Arguably the two most underrated talents on the independent wrestling scene right now. Biff Busick is supremely talented in the ring and often gets compared to a Bryan Danielson, which is the greatest compliment any up and coming indie wrestler can get in my book.
Willie Mack is one of my personal favorite wrestlers who unfortunately went from being in the upper echelon of PWG to now being in the local talent opener match, if on the show at all. Samoa Joe recently made a rare appearance on the indie circuit because he wanted to work Willie specifically due to seeing something Willie had that reminded Joe of himself. The match delivered.
The only well known promotion that books Busick consistently? CZW.
The only well known East coast promotion that books Willie Mack? CZW.
Both guys have styles to similar wrestlers of the past as the aforementioned indie legends turned TV stars and I feel these two could steal any show they appear on. My predictions would see Willie in TNA and Busick in ROH by year’s end but for now, I’m hoping CZW gives me this match.
5. Adam Cole vs. Candice LaRae: PWG
A match that was originally supposed to happen in late December 2013 but the card was reshuffled and it never came to fruition. The interactions between Adam Cole and Candice LaRae during a 6 person tag match at PWG’s “Battle of Los Angeles 2013: Night 2” were off the charts and among my favorite things in wrestling last year.
With the tag tournament of DDT4, we get to see Joey Ryan and Candice vs. Kevin Steen and Cole, which should be fantastic, but I’m still holding out hope for the eventual LaRae vs. Adam Win Win singles match at some point during the year. In fact, with Cole defeating most of the noteworthy contenders already, Candice being the one to dethrone him for the PWG title is something that could be great given the (lack of) structure in the wonderland that is Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
4. Young Bucks vs. Time Splitters: NJPW
A match that is already announced for 2014! I’ve planned on writing this for about a week now and the day before I actually start it, NJPW announces The Young Bucks will defend their IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles vs. The Time Splitters!
If you know me, you know the Motor City Machine Guns of Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin are my favorite tag team of all time. When Alex Shelley left TNA and Chris Sabin stayed, it was a huge blow to my poor wrestling fandom heart. However, since going to Japan, Alex Shelley formed The Time Splitters with KUSHIDA and they are highly impressive. For a pairing of two guys who I assume haven’t known each other very long, they provide near the same exhilarating style that MCMG did.
On the other side, The Young Bucks are the best tag team in wrestling right now and a must see act, especially with Bullet Club. I’ve hoped for this match for a little bit now and it seemed never meant to be. Alex Shelley expresses no interest in wrestling in America any time soon. KUSHIDA came to ROH but not Shelley. The Young Bucks started appearing in NJPW but Shelley wasn’t around. They finally had a match at Wrestle Kingdom 2014…. but two other teams were involved.
Finally, it’s coming in February! Happy New Year! We love you NJPW.
3. John Cena vs. The Undertaker: WWE
The Undertaker match at Wrestlemania is the only guarantee for a great match at Wrestlemania as we’ve seen on just about every one of the last few Wrestlemania events. The last great opponent left for ‘Taker at WM is John Cena.
Part of the reasoning for this is much of the fear of Taker’s age. As much as I’d love to see a Lesnar match this year followed by Cena next year, you never know when he’ll get too limited to live up to the expectations that grow with each year. Imagine realizing that Triple H had three matches with Undertaker at WM and Cena had none if it were never to happen.
Not to mention, it’s Wrestlemania 30. I’m aware it’s just a number at the end of the day but there’s always extra pressure on the events being even more special every 10 years. Not many, if any, matches can provide as special of a buzz going into Wrestlemania as John Cena vs. The Undertaker.
The rumors say Cena may have a program with Bray Wyatt going into WM but I can’t imagine that happening. What a waste of Cena in his prime at Wrestlemania that would be. You’d think they’d learn not to waste him on projects at Wrestlemania after The Miz bombed.
2. Paul London vs. AJ Styles: ROH
With his return to ROH and shoot interview tapings, it’s clear to most that AJ Styles leaving TNA is in fact reality and not a work. At least for the time being, AJ is a free agent and Ring of Honor bound. Paul London has been making appearances on and off for the last year and is booked for a show in January and is likely getting a title shot vs. Adam Cole in his home state of Texas in early Feburary so London seems to have a place in ROH for the time being as well.
What big show is coming up soon? The ROH Anniversary Show!
AJ Styles vs. Paul London was one of the greatest Ring of Honor matches in ROH’s early years that helped build the foundation of what ROH would become. The match is engraved in the legacy of ROH and it would be a really nice touch to book this match at the Anniversary Show in Philadelphia over a decade later.
Given the roads of success both have had after that match, it would be the best possible “attraction match” ROH could place on the event. Not to mention, it would curry favor with many of the fans who miss the “old ROH” as if the card is stacked, this would be the nostalgia flavored icing on the cake. Yes, I just compared ROH to cake.
1. Shawn Michaels vs. Daniel Bryan: WWE
WWE gave way too much Shawn Michaels/Daniel Bryan interacting over the past few months for me not to get my hopes up for an eventual match between these two. The story is simple and has already been told. Michaels helped train Bryan. Michaels is friends with Triple H. Michaels turns on Bryan because of his friendship with Triple H. Bryan gets revenge on Michaels. Michaels and Bryan continue to interact.
I consider Daniel Bryan and Shawn Michaels to be the two greatest in ring performers I’ve seen in regards to what I enjoy most about wrestling. Both capture all the little things and put on the most memorable matches. Sure, Shawn Michaels has retired but by now, we’ve all known that no one ever really retires in pro wrestling. You can appreciate Michaels not wanting to work another match in respect to the way he went out but the guy is on TV more than 25% of the roster these days so does that really even matter? At least give us a great match with all these return appearances.
In a perfect world, this match would take place at Wrestlemania 30 but I’ll take it anywhere. Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Battle Fucking Ground. Hell, Toby Keith’s rumored promotion can book it while he plays country music on stage and I still wouldn’t complain. Just give me this match. The world would become a better place for 20-30 minutes.
You can follow me on Twitter: @typicalROHfan