What were the top stories last week?
Also, congrats to Brock Lesnar, Shinsuke Nakamura, Perro Aguayo Jr., the Masked Assassins of Jody Hamilton & Tom Renesto, Ivan Koloff, Carlos Colon, and Eddie Quinn for being inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall Of Fame.
Here are the stories that missed the top five this week:
– Word came out that Bill Simmons’ first documentary project at HBO was going to be a story on Andre The Giant. Simmons made it well known that he’d wanted to do the Andre story for ESPN’s 30 for 30, but couldn’t get WWE’s permission or help. Richard Deitsch disputes it.
– Buff Bagwell believes that Jim Ross was the person who derailed his WWE career, not Vince McMahon, or even Buff Bagwell himself.
– Smackdown will remain on Thursday night’s when it moves to USA.
– Vitor Belfort’s dad beat Dan Henderson on Saturday night and let’s hope Hendo calls it a career. It’s been a great one.
– This isn’t technically MMA, but fits here best. After being removed from Spike TV, Glory worked out a deal with ESPN to show their events with Glory 25 being on ESPN3 initially and then re-broadcast on ESPN2.
– Rumble Johnson and Ryan Bader will face-off in a number one contender’s match of sorts in January.
– Matt Brown’s injury forces him to drop-out of his fight with Kelvin Gastelum.
– Andre Ward pulled out of his fight with Alexander Brand (at least that’s who we think it was supposed to be) because of a knee injury.
– Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg are headed for a February unification bout.
– Deontay Wilder will fight again in January.
And now, the top five…
5. Who is Fedor fighting on NYE?
I think Fedor has had at least two opponents by now. The latest rumor is that he’s fighting Tsuyoshi Kosaka, who he’s already fought before twice, including a disputed loss. However, it sounds like there’s now a few fighters to choose from, including pro wrestlers.
At this point, I’m not sure that the opponent means all that much in the US as it’s understood that he is going to fight someone who he should roll, but in Japan, especially with it being the first Rizin show, it’s pretty important for them to get this right when it comes to mainstream eyeballs.
4. AJ Styles will face Shinsuke Nakamura at the Tokyo Dome.
At the end of New Japan’s latest big show, Power Struggle, Styles came out to challenge Nakamura after he just beat Karl Anderson to retain his Intercontinental championship.
So it looks like this is your number two match for January 4th at the Tokyo Dome.
3. Timothy Bradley retires Brandon Rios.
Bradley had everything for Rios and Rios had nothing for Bradley. After the fight, in which Bradley won by TKO, Rios said he might be done.
2. Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock are fighting again.
At Bellator 145, in which Daniel Straus beat Pitbull to win the featherweight title, they announced their next big fight. It’s nearly 50 year old Royce Gracie vs over 50 year old Ken Shamrock. I wonder if there’s ever been a rematch that happened 20 years later?
Kimbo Slice vs Ken Shamrock did an excellent TV rating while Tito Ortiz vs Liam McGeery didn’t. At least Bellator is going with what is shown to have worked with having a legends’ fight between the two guys who put UFC on the map originally.
I know there’s been a lot of fervor around the fight, but it’s essentially going to be a grappling exhibition, or at least it should be. I don’t think either guy will take much punishment.
What might be worthy of being upset is Kimbo Slice’s next fight against the great Dada 5000, who is most famous for being in the movie Dawg Fight.
1. Seth Rollins’ injury means a reshuffling at the top.
Seth Rollins tore his ACL, MCL, and meniscus in his right knee during his match with Kane in Dublin, Ireland during the week, taking him out of action for over the next 6-9 months.
What that means is that WWE is going to have to crown a new champion at Survivor Series, which makes the PPV/Network special all that more interesting. It doesn’t mean that it will inject more life to the product, but it will make them move some people up the ladder.
Most believe Roman Reigns was going to win the title anyway at the PPV, so he’s probably the favorite. But if not for Roman, who else can win the title? Dean Ambrose? Kevin Owens?
Let’s just hope that it’s not Kane or the Big Show. Does this also mean that John Cena’s vacation is cut short? Does Brock Lesnar make a surprise appearance? Does Sheamus cash in? Will Triple H don the tights again?
We’ll have some answers in a couple weeks.
See you next week.