Category: Columns

The Flying Elbow: ‘How The WWE Worked The Universe’

There’s certainly no denying that social media plays a large role in today’s professional wrestling scene. It’s a valuable tool for advancing storyline, promotion and just overall interaction with fans, being used to gauge interest when it comes to what’s currently happening with the product. The WWE can take into account the opinions of the WWE Universe, allowing them to take a sharp left on a current angle even when plans call for it to veer to the right. Sometimes it can correct mistakes or bad booking decisions, but then you have times when the company should just stick...

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The Flying Elbow: An Interview With Ring Of Honor’s Flip Gordon

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak with Ring Of Honor star Flip Gordon to promote tonight’s Best In The World pay-per-view, discussing a number of topics including how serving in the military prepared him for professional wrestling, getting signed to a company with a television program so quick in his career, what makes Ring Of Honor stand apart from places like WWE and a lot more. These days it seems like a lot more pro wrestlers are coming from a military background. What about being in the service prepared you for stepping into the ring? “I would...

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘The Deathmatch Lives On’

Welcome to the world of Deathmatch wrestling. Here, anything goes! Foreign objects like chairs, ladders, tables, thumbtacks, barbed wire, fire, glass, saws and weed whackers are not only allowed, but greatly encouraged. In Japanese and American hardcore promotions, such as Combat Zone Wrestling, competitors will use anything at their disposal to cause harm to their opponent. Now, promotions like the WWE for example, do not allow deathmatch wrestling due to it elevated levels of blood and violence. Not a good look for a publicly traded company. Because of this, most fans of deathmatch promotions are fans solely tuning in for its...

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘Preserving The Demon King’

All over the internet recently, all I have seen was fans wanting Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor for the WWE Universal Championship ever since ‘The Conqueror’ defeated Goldberg for the title back at WrestleMania 33. I have seen a vast array of responses from people, both positive and negative, on the possibility of such an encounter. Yes, this is a money match that will draw like simply because of who’s involved. Finn is one of a select few Superstars who seems to be beloved by fans young and old, women and men. Now, I am all for the underdog story, the smaller guy...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘Let’s Dive Right In’

Sharing your personal opinion on anything happening in the world of professional wrestling these days inevitably will lead to you getting some heat, whether it be from fans, peers or if you’re a performer, no matter the subject matter. Especially in this day and age of social media where any uninformed “Tom, Dick and Harry” will read it and feel the need to tell you why you’re “wrong”. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding comments made by independent wrestler Daniel Parker, who shared a pretty...

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘Monday Night Flaw’

As any good comic book writer will tell you, when creating your hero, they need to have a flaw. What is that flaw? Could it be self-doubt like Luke Skywalker? How about Kryptonite for Superman? Is it the fear of the unknown like Dorothy Gale?  Hell, all of the members of Dorothy’s party in ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ have flaws. They’re not really “flaws” though in terms of the story, more like “obstacles” they will have to overcome in order to gain success. If your hero has no flaws in a story, then said-hero becomes boring or one-note. I remember the many years...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘Forgotten Hall Of Fame Candidates’

Now that I’ve had a few weeks to let everything from WrestleMania weekend settle into my brain, I’ve found myself reflecting more on this year’s Hall Of Fame ceremony. Arguably one of my favorite nights of the year, the 2017 class didn’t disappoint in-terms of great moments such as Ricky Morton breaking down as he thanked Robert Gibson, Beth Phoenix unselfishly paying tribute to Edge, DDP’s inspiring speech and Kurt Angle’s milk-soaked celebration among others. Every candidate was worthy this year in my book and it got me thinking way ahead to possibilities for next year’s class. We all...

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘Getting Evicted From Her House’

In the summer of 2016, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that there would be a WWE Draft, Superstars being selected to RAW and SmackDown Live, revisiting an old concept to create competition within the company. One of the pioneers and standard bearers of the new revolution of women’s wrestling, Paige, was chosen by RAW, but we never saw the former multi-time Divas Champion and it was later revealed she was on the shelf due to injury. Not long after the news of her injury, Paige was suspended from the WWE for violating the company’s wellness policy, which is where we first learned of the...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘NXT Spotlight – Aleister Black’

For years and years, whenever I heard the term “fade to black”, my brain was always instantaneously filled with memories of the one and only, Jay-Z. Anyone close to me knows that he’s by far my favorite musician of all-time and when he was set to retire from making music in 2003, a concert DVD surrounding the release of his album “The Black Album” also hit stores, which was entitled “Fade To Black”. Today when I think of that term, only one man comes to mind and that’s NXT newcomer, Aleister Black. Born in Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands on...

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘The Next, Next Big Thing’

This past Monday night on RAW, Braun Strowman faced off against Big Show in another main event outing between these two that surpassed expectations. The two worked about as great any big man vs. big man match that you’ll ever see in WWE, after doing shocking us with a similar performance not too long ago. The signature moment this time around however, came when ‘The Monster Among Men’ took ‘The World’s Largest Athlete’ and superplexed him from the top rope, giving way to the inevitable ring collapse stunt that had the crowd jumping out of their seats. The previous week, Strowman brutally attacked Roman...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘Underrated Files – Hakushi’

Say I was to ask you to think of some WWE Superstars that came from ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’, Japan. Most assuredly, the most common names you or any WWE fan came up with would likely be Hall Of Famer Mr. Fuji, Tajiri, maybe Taka Michinoku or Sho Funaki and more recently, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka and Akira Tozawa. Maybe even a less remembered man named Kenzo Suzuki, but one that is often forgotten about would be that of ‘The Modern Day Kamikaze’, ‘The White Angel’, Hakushi. Born Kensuki Shinzaki in Tokushima, Japan on December 2nd, 1966, Hakushi...

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘The Journey Of The American Nightmare’

There is something to be said for a father and son bond like the one that existed between ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes and his youngest son, Cody; the former WWE Superstar that has chosen to walk a similar path originally trudged by his father all those years ago in the territories. Their bond is one built of blood, sweat and tears, often times sounding like the cheers and boos of a mere few hundred people in a dimly lit gymnasium or expo center, all of which sit atop their uncomfortable steel folding chairs, sipping on soft drinks and eating concession stand...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘I Love To Say I Told You So’

The saying goes, “I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so”, however when it comes to me it’s the opposite. I like it, enjoy it, you could even say I love it. When the WWE announced the return of the brand-split last summer, it was met mostly with excitement and led to a lot of discussion among members of the WWE Universe about who would go where and what would happen with the titles. It would be very easy to look back at the Draft portion of the split and talk about who should...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘Letting Goldberg Leave Respectfully’

It seems these days that anyone who has ever watched at least one episode of WWE programming likes to play fantasy booker, opinions coming out of the woodwork ranging from “good” to “you couldn’t even book a flight”. One of the hot topics over the past couple of weeks has been obviously the road to WrestleMania 33 on April 2nd, especially surrounding the expected main event, Brock Lesnar challenging Goldberg for the WWE Universal Title. Since Goldberg’s quick-win over Kevin Owens at Fastlane to gain the championship, people have been more than vocal with their displeasure, especially on social media....

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘The Laughable Follies & Epic Failures Of Impact Wrestling’

For weeks, we’ve heard constant promotion, a lot of it in the form of ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero antagonizing Josh Mathews on commentary, about new management, new ownership and a new direction for the company formerly known as Total Nonstop Action. The previous owner of the company before Dixie Carter took the reigns, Jeff Jarrett, has been tweeting about important meetings he’s been having lately in the United Kingdom and more recently, India. Impact is no longer under the control of Dixie, the one who has been the topic of blame for many of TNA’s woes over the past several...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘Building A Case For Big Evil’

When it comes to the debate of who the greatest professional wrestler/WWE Superstar of all-time is, it’s very likely you could poll upwards of fifty people and get a multitude of different answers. The most common names to the question would undoubtedly be Shawn Michaels, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, The Rock, Bret Hart, John Cena, Triple H and possibly even Chris Jericho, with the likelihood of a modern-day “super-mark” throwing out a name like Roman Reigns (he may be in the conversation one day, but let’s be honest…not yet). I can’t quite argue against any...

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The Flying Elbow: ‘NXT Spotlight – Aliyah’

Over the course of WWE and professional wrestling history, we’ve seen a handful of Superstar that have a Middle Eastern heritage such as Shawn Daivari, current Cruiserweight Division Superstars Ariya Daivari and Mustafa Ali, as well as the most notable of them all, WWE Hall Of Famer and former WWF Champion The Iron Sheik (despite portraying an Arab-American character, Muhammad Hassan, real name Mark Copani, is actually of Italian descent). Absent however, has been the presence of any female performers that come from this culture, that is until now in the form of one NXT Superstar that I believe...

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The Anthony Asylum: ‘A Familiar, Fresh Breath Of Air’

Insane Championship Wrestling (for those unfamiliar with the brand) is the rebirth of the Attitude Era filtered through the perspective of United Kingdom wrestling fans; gritty, funny (and by funny I mean actually funny), unfiltered, character-focused, rivalry-focused and reality-based. The roster isn’t made up of baby oil covered, catchphrase-slinging, cartoon characters designed to appeal to a specific group of fans, while simultaneously appealing to every demographic. Many mainstream wrestling fans might initially be put-off by this. While there are “WWE-like” wrestlers in ICW (Drew Galloway, in particular), there is a wider variety of body-types and a vast range of gimmicks than what...

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