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Thread: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

  1. #61
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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    If anyone knows me then one things for sure, I know BTB's, and this is by far the best one.



  2. #62
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    Special Announcement

    Officials are announcing a few matches ahead of time for Night Two of the Worldwide 96 quarter-finals. The following are only some of the scheduled contests. Of course, there will be some surprises...




    N I G H T
    T W O

    FATAL FOUR-WAY
    WILLIE MACK vs KAMAITACHI vs FENIX vs ADAM PAGE

    WORLDWIDE 96 QUARTERFINALS
    AKIRA TOZAWA vs PENTAGON JR

    WORLDWIDE 96 QUARTERFINALS
    WILL OSPREAY vs BRIAN CAGE

    WORLDWIDE 96 QUARTERFINALS
    ADAM COLE vs BIG DADDY WALTER

    6-MAN TAG TEAM ACTION!
    MONSTER MAFIA & TYSON DUX
    vs
    KENNY OMEGA & THE YOUNG BUCKS



    The event will be taking place soon. As always, card is subject to change.


  3. #63
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    Round 4 : Night Two

    The second night of our Toronto event begins with a cold open: we are in the venue lobby as a meet and greet is finishing up with some of the stars of tonight’s show. Will Ospreay is acting very humble (keyword: acting) and appreciative of all his support, when he is tapped on the shoulder by a female producer who tells him that his presence was requested elsewhere. Ospreay wraps up the conversation he was having and apologizes to the other people in his line before excusing himself.

    Spoiler:

    When Ospreay passes the curtain that separates the areas, he is confronted by Jimmy Havoc. Havoc is flanked by Greater Europe compatriots Rampage Brown and Iestyn Rees.

    Jimmy Havoc: Piss off.

    Will Ospreay: Excuse me?

    Jimmy Havoc: That’s what you’re going to say to me after I make you an offer you shouldn’t but probably will refuse.

    Will Ospreay: And that is?

    Jimmy Havoc: The world is watching, William. One of the biggest tournaments this sport has ever seen is reaching its apex and this company just won BTBOTM in the Wrestling Order newsletter. All eyes are on THRIVE. And by all eyes, I mean Ed's, and sometime Jon Snow's.

    Both men look at the camera for a moment and then back at eachother.

    Jimmy Havoc: Now, here’s where you come in. There are still three Euros in the Worldwide 96 and you are one of them. Now, we’ve already done our part in making sure Sabre advances. Just say the word, and we will do the same for you.

    Will Ospreay: You were right. Piss off.

    Jimmy Havoc: Something I want you to consider, before we have your ‘final answer.’

    Ospreay looks at Rampage and Rees for a moment before turning his attention back to Havoc.

    Jimmy Havoc: If we can make the triple threat finals match at Trifecta ‘you against Zack against Walter,’ we guarantee that the THRIVE World Championship goes to a European who deserves it. At present time, Zack is our horse in the race, and I guess that makes Walter our ‘war elephant.’ But you

    Will Ospreay: I don’t want any part of your nonsense, Jimmy.

    Jimmy Havoc: So when Bullet Club is taking over the wrestling world, and Los Ingobernables are selling t-shirts by the thousands, that’s nonsense, is it?

    Will Ospreay: You know what I mean.

    Jimmy Havoc: No I do not. But I know you. And that’s this is really about, innit? You want all of the glory for yourself. There’s never enough to share with the lot of us.

    Will Ospreay: That’s bullshit-

    Jimmy Havoc: Is it?

    Will Ospreay: …

    Ospreay doesn’t even want to justify the notion with a response.

    Will Ospreay: Why are you even asking me? If you wanted to take Cage out prior to our match, you certainly didn’t need my permission.

    Havoc looks away from Ospreay, sighs, and then looks at him again.

    Jimmy Havoc: For transparency’s sake, here it is: we don’t want to upset you...

    Ospreay’s eyebrows raise as he looks around in disbelief.

    Jimmy Havoc: ...more than we already have, that is. You see, you’ve got your ROH bookings, your fancy New Japan connections, and we don’t… so-

    Will Ospreay: Not interested.

    Jimmy Havoc: Be that as it may, A Greater Europe is interested in you. We have all the confidence in the world that you’ll do just fine, but with that said, Brian Cage is twice your size and thrice as strong… so if you want our help, you’ve got it. And if you don’t, we’ll stay out of your way.

    Ospreay scoffs, then looks like he might be considering it for a moment, before ultimately shaking his head.

    Will Ospreay: I know I’m the underdog in this one. Now, more than ever before. But that’s why it’s so important for me to do this on my own. If I lose, it’s unfortunate. I’ll let the fans down, my family… I’ll let myself down. But if I win? If I can actually beat him-

    Jimmy Havoc: I don’t care about your reasons, William. I’ve got your answer.

    Havoc puts his hand on Ospreay’s shoulder. Ospreay looks at Havoc’s hand, then back at Havoc.

    Jimmy Havoc: Good luck out there.

    Havoc starts walking away, trailed by Iestyn Rees. Rampage Brown turns to Ospreay for a moment. He looks like he’s searching for the right words...

    Rampage Brown: … … ...Don’t fuck this up.

    Ospreay frowns as Rampage turns to follow his mates. Scene fades to black and the show’s intro begins.



    Joey Styles is standing next to Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly, surrounded by a raucous crowd here to see some of wrestling's finest competing LIVE and for a good cause. Styles runs through a shortlist of charities benefitting from tonight's events before welcoming the audience at home.

    Joey Styles: Welcome to Night 2 of ROUND 4, live from Toronto, featuring the Worldwide 96 quarter-finals and a number of surprise match-ups. I’m your host Joey Styles. Your commentators for the evening are Canada native Steve Corino and his partner Kevin Kelly. We’re not wasting any time tonight as we head ringside for our first match of the evening.

    Our ring announcer is the lovely Melissa Santos, who gets her own pop as she enters the ring to introduce our opening bout’s competitors.








    A quick-paced first contest of the evening which sees all four men looking like equals. The majority of the time it’s Adam Page fighting Willie Mack and Fenix going toe-to-toe with Kamaitachi, but they switch dance partners at multiple points throughout. The subtext to this match is Adam Page desperate to pick up a win and prove he’s not a weak link in the Bullet Club. This is evidenced by Page having more pinfall attempts than the other competitors combined.

    Finish comes when Kamaitachi devastates Willie Mack with a dropkick from the apron to the outside. Willie crashes into the guardrail and Kamaitachi just crashes. Inside the ring, Adam Page hits Fenix with a reverse STO. Page sees Kamaitachi starting to get up on the outside. He looks down at Fenix and then back to Kamaitachi.

    Page hurries to catch Kamaitachi with a double axe-handle off the apron before the Japanese star can get his bearings. Adam Page knocks him loopy and then hops back onto the apron just as Fenix gets to his feet. Before Fenix can completely turn to face “The Hangman,” Adam Page springboards over the top rope and does a flip, landing on his feet. Adam’s got a beautiful front-flip lariat that he is known for, but we won’t be seeing it tonight. Fenix counters the attempt using Adam Page’s own momentum against him to deliver the Spanish Fly (moonsault slam) for the win at 11:15. Page kicks out just after the 3 count and you can see the disappointment in his face.

    Backstage, “The Hangman” Adam Page anticipates some heat from Cole for losing the opening contest of the night, but when Page gets backstage, Adam Cole is too busy concentrating on his Round 4 match later this evening, against the behemoth of a man they call Big Daddy Walter. It’s only when Adam Page tries to offer some encouragement that Cole snaps out of it and remembers to chastise Page for losing. Page is disappointed, but not surprised. He takes the verbal lashing and still wishes Cole luck later tonight. We head ringside for the first quarter-finals match of the evening.






    This one starts as a game of cat and mouse that deviates into an acrobatic showcase at certain points. Cage impresses the crowd with his strength, lots of deadlifts and delays here. Ospreay gets his shit in as well, using the outside area, apron and ropes to his advantage to turn the tables several times. The crowd was behind Ospreay in the beginning but the more of Cage’s aerial repertoire is on display, the more mixed the reactions get.

    The finish comes when Cage tries to keep up with Ospreay too much and tweaks his knee landing from a handspring. Cage falls for a moment but gets right back up, trying not to show weakness. The vulnerability already exposed, Ospreay wastes zero time - he charges Brian Cage and targets the knee with a low dropkick. Cage falls to the floor and grimaces in pain. Ospreay runs and stands across the ring. Ospreay runs the length of the ring and leaps into the air for his jumping corkscrew roundhouse but Brian Cage intercepts him with a nasty lariat that turns the “Aerial Assassin” inside out. Cage was playing possum and taps his temple to let the fans know how smart he is.

    Ospreay’s been turned into a ragdoll by the lariat but Cage has no trouble hoisting his body up to a standing position. Brian Cage puts his arm over Ospreay’s head, and Ospreay’s arm over his. He lifts Ospreay up into the air, twists, and spikes him down with a vertical suplex piledriver. There’s an audible gasp at the sight of it. Cage makes the cover and the referee counts 3! Brian Cage advances to the semifinals at 13:21.

    We go backstage where Paul London is in his ring gear standing next to Joey Styles.

    Joey Styles: Paul-

    Paul London: Save it, Joey. I know what you’re going to say. "Last night, you expected to face Brian Kendrick, but he no-showed the event like the piece of shit he is and instead you faced a local competitor they call The Space Monkey, how do you feel about that?" Is that about right?

    Joey Styles: Well, I-

    Paul London: Well nothing, Joey. I am not a fucking joke. I am not some punchline. And as much as I wanna badmouth Brian Kendrick right now, there’s nothing funny about fighting him, either. So as much as I appreciate getting paid to wrestle last night, getting thrown into a match with…

    London seems like he’s trying to calm himself down before he chooses his next words, out of respect for the performer.

    Joey Styles: A guy in a monkey suit?

    London snaps.

    Paul London: It’s not even a fucking monkey suit! That would actually have been entertaining-

    Joey Styles interrupts Paul to prevent him from disparaging The Space Monkey any further.

    Joey Styles: And it appears Brian Kendrick is not present tonight, either-

    Paul London: …oh, big surprise...

    Joey Styles: -but you are still scheduled for competition this evening.

    London shakes his head and takes a deep breath. Styles gives him room to respond, and Paul London takes his time. Another deep breath.

    Paul London: As long as it’s actually competition this time.

    London walks off toward the entrance area, ready for his match. He does his entrance and comes through the curtains to a nice pop. Melissa Santos announces his name in a fun, bubbly way, but Paul is feeling anything but fun and bubbly as he makes his way to the ring. His discontent is evident, and it’s only going to get worse from here.

    Next out to the ring, it’s The Space Monkey!!! Santos says his name in a bouncy way. She’s smiling afterward, but that smile vanishes the second she meets eyes with Paul London, who couldn’t look more disappointed with the situation. Then, Melissa Santos says, ”and their opponents…”, indicating Space Monkey is actually his partner, and we discover London actually can look more disappointed.

    The entrance area starts filling with fog that is lit up blue and purple. An orange light shines down as the song “Otherworld” from Final Fantasy X begins playing. The screen displays the words: ‘BOSS LEVEL.’ When the song ramps up and gets heavier, two men emerge from the fog: Evil Uno and Low Ki. They look cool AF with the lighting behind them.

    London’s rage deafens him to the strategy The Space Monkey is trying to discuss. Eventually, The Space Monkey realizes London isn’t listening and stops trying to get through to him. Then, Paul London remembers what he said earlier about wanting actual competition, and smiles at his predicament.








    It’s a pretty one-sided affair. Evil Uno and Low Ki are showing tremendous teamwork and a sense of timing that takes most partnerships a while to achieve. On the other end of the ring, London and Monkey are showing none of that. London is doing well enough on his own, but The Space Monkey’s inexperience coupled with their lack of chemistry leads to a few mix-ups. It’s mercifully short at 7:12, with The Space Monkey taking a double brainbuster from Low Ki and Uno as London watches from the apron. After the match, London helps The Space Monkey to his feet. A post-match beatdown seems imminent, but London leaves the ring before doing anything rash.






    It’s a back-and-forth war from start-to-finish that sees both men pulling out all the stops. Tozawa and Pentagon Jr. nearly go the distance in this one. ”Both these guys! Both these guys!” and "Fight forever!" chants. With Suzuki and Sanada out of the Worldwide 96, Akira Tozawa represents Japan’s only chance of getting a Japanese finalist fighting for the THRIVE World Championship at our next event. But it would be Mexico’s Pentagon Jr. advancing, when he manages to put Akira Tozawa away with the Package Piledriver at 17:03.

    Pentagon Jr. and Tozawa receive a standing ovation after the match. Pentagon Jr. helps Tozawa up and raises his arm long enough to suggest that this is Tozawa’s goodbye from actively competing on the independent scene, including THRIVE. Pentagon Jr. leaves the ring as the fans are chanting “TO-ZA-WA!” Pentagon looks pleased with himself.

    After the match, we head backstage where Jimmy Havoc and his goons are knocking on a door. The door opens and Brad Maddox appears.

    Brad Maddox: Gentlemen.

    Jimmy Havoc: Where’s Walter?

    Brad Maddox: He’s getting ready. So what can I help you with?

    Jimmy Havoc: Nothing. We want Walter.

    Brad Maddox: I’ll take this moment to remind you that as Big Daddy Walter’s representative-

    Jimmy Havoc: Do we look like we give a fuck who you are?

    It was rhetorical, but Maddox scans their faces before reaching Havoc’s again.

    Brad Maddox: Not exactly, no, but here’s the deal: you’re not getting an audience with him unless I want you to...

    Rampage Brown: Excuse me-

    Havoc raises his hand in a “COOL IT!” gesture, allowing Maddox to continue.

    Brad Maddox: And that isn’t necessary, because I am pretty sure I know what you would tell him.

    Jimmy Havoc: Is that right?

    Brad Maddox: ’We’re the good guys, unified Europe and all that, join us and we’ll rule the wrestling world, have a pint and watch some soccer after.’ I'm sorry, 'football.'

    Havoc looks at his mates.

    Jimmy Havoc: That’s pretty good.

    Havoc snaps and grabs Maddox by the collar of his shirt.

    Jimmy Havoc: We don’t have a lot of time so I’ll make this brief: we helped Sabre Jr. and he’s in the semifinals. We didn’t help Ospreay and now he isn’t...

    Brad Maddox: Are you comparing Big Daddy Walter to Will Ospreay?

    Maddox makes a face like he's trying not to laugh. Havoc releases his collar and steps backward once he realizes Maddox can't be spooked. Corino says he'd be fearless if his client were King Kong too.

    Jimmy Havoc: You're right. Your man is a veritable monster. There’s no doubting that. But even Godzilla falls when he’s faced with a whole army. Maybe you haven’t been watching New Japan for the past two years but the Bullet Club isn’t something you take lightly.

    Brad Maddox: Just because I don’t want you to get involved doesn’t mean I’m taking anything lightly, Mr. Havoc.

    Jimmy Havoc: Brad-

    Brad Maddox: You want Walter to be a European version of The Giant. A sort of good luck Fale, if you will. I can appreciate that… but I don't agree with it, because I don’t see any longevity in what you are doing. You want to rival the Bullet Club and fight Los Ingobernables but honestly, I think The Corre showed more promise.

    Havoc’s lackeys get really offended, as they should.

    Brad Maddox: My answer is no. Or at least, it would be, if you had asked me a question. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to gameplan with the big man. Maddox out.

    Maddox closes the door on them. The rest show frustration but Havoc is expressionless.

    Rampage Brown: You want me to break the door down? Fuck him up?

    Havoc doesn’t even respond. He turns, walks away, and the others follow. We return to ringside where Melissa Santos gets us hyped up for a big eight-man tag team match between two American tag teams and Japan's CHAOS faction.












    This one is hard-hitting and action-packed. Everyone gets a chance to look good but just a little bit more is given to showcasing YOSHI-HASHI, who is often the overlooked member of the group. Okada hits a picture perfect dropkick on Chris Hero and does that ’camera zooming out’ pose. But Hero kips up and is back on his feet instantly! Okada turns around and Hero hits Okada with a dropkick of his own! Both men crawl over to their respective corners to tag out. This brings in JT Dunn and Hirooki Goto.

    Dunn tries to catch Goto off guard with a Rolling Elbow but Goto catches him in a suplex position and destroys Dunn with the Shouten Kai (vertical lift sitout side slam). Goto goes for a pinfall attempt. Hanson dives to the center in a desperate attempt to break the pin, but Goto moves and Hanson ends up crashing into JT Dunn. Goto takes advantage of the confusion and tags out to YOSHI-HASHI. Tomohiro Ishii enters and crosses the ring with Goto to knock Chris Hero and Raymond Rowe off of the apron.

    Okada jumps in immediately and drops Hanson with the Rainmaker (wrist lock into a lariat). Hanson rolls out of the ring, leaving JT Dunn to the mercy of YOSHI-HASHI. Spoiler: he has no mercy. YOSHI-HASHI hits JT Dunn with Karma (pumphandle half nelson driver) to give CHAOS the win at 14:22.

    After the match, an angry Chris Hero drops Hanson with a nasty Discus Roundhouse Kick. Before Raymond Rowe can respond in kind, JT Dunn gets in Hero’s face over the incident and it looks like the two are exchanging heated words. Dunn suddenly spins around and surprises Rowe with a Rolling Elbow. Both members of War Machine are down as Death By Elbow leaves the ring to a mixed reaction.

    Joey Styles interrupts the show to give us an urgent update to the rules for our next Worldwide 96 match. "To preserve the integrity of the tournament," he begins, "each wrestler shall only be accompanied by one person." We see a shot of Maddox watching from Walter's dressing room, smiling. Then we see a shot of The Bullet Club watching from their own dressing room, and completely over-reacting to the news. The Young Bucks in particular look like they've just learned the world is ending, and are throwing garbage cans and sofa-cushions around the room. In the midst of their groaning and moaning, it is Adam Page who speaks up and declares "I'll go." Everyone shuts up and looks at him when he says this - except Adam Cole, who has been expressionless and staring off into space the whole time. He snaps back to reality for a moment and says, "ok."






    Normally, Maddox has a microphone and plenty to say, but tonight he opts not to address their opponent or the crowd. It's business time. Adam Cole comes to the ring with fellow Bullet Club member Adam Page. Commentary reminds viewers that Page was disqualified and eliminated in Round 3 due to Adam Cole's interference. They wonder if Page harbors any resentment or desire for revenge here.

    From the moment the bell rings, this is a game of cat and mouse, plus a whole bunch of cat and mouse DLC. Over the course of the next fifteen or so minutes, Cole goes mostly untouched. Walter batters him at every opportunity but they are few and far between, with Adam Cole making extensive use of rope breaks and corner pull-aparts. The crowd seemed to find his antics amusing at first, but as it became clear that Cole was merely "running out the clock," they turned on him quickly.

    Maddox is visibly frustrated, having hoped that the 'no Bullet Club at ringside' rule would have made this a quick and easy victory for his monster. Walter is falling into Cole's trap, tiring himself and slowing as the match goes on. Sometime after the eighteen minute mark, Cole catches Walter with a baseball slide as Walter is following him back into the ring. Walter falls to his knee and appears to take a moment to collect himself. Cole pats himself on the back for this, turning to the crowd, throwing up two fingers on each hand and yelling "ADAM COLE BAYBAY!" Most of the crowd says "BAYBAY!" in unison with Cole, despite shitting on the match prior to that.

    But Big Daddy Walter is no slouch. He's in the ring and back to his feet before Cole has a chance to turn back around. When Cole does, he eats a nasty headbutt that sends him crashing to the mat. Walter is stomping him into oblivion. Stomping a mudhole? Hell no. Big Daddy Walter is stomping to the center of the earth! Whatever Page is shouting, Cole is clearly in no position to heed his advice, as he struggles to get out from underneath Walter's massive boots and grab the bottom rope for safety.

    The referee separates them again and the crowd voices their displeasure. Maddox is telling Walter to hurry it up. Cole escapes to the outside, still wincing from Walter's painful stomps. Walter follows him out as we enter minute nineteen. Maddox commands Walter to bring the action back into the ring, while Page shouts at Cole to stay outside. Walter goes after a retreating Cole, hoping to spear him into a barricade, but Cole moves at the last second and Walter goes crashing into steel. It makes a frightening sound, but even scarier is how quickly Walter is back to his feet and after Cole again. No offense to Kenny Omega but if ever there were an appropriate time for the crowd to get a Terminator theme going, it would be now.

    Cole starts to slide back into the ring, so Walter does the same. But Cole changes course and stays outside at the last second. Walter gets to his feet in the ring, winded and frustrated with how things are playing out. Just then, the bell rings. There's a moment where Walter looks oblivious, until he realizes what has been allowed to happen. We've reached minute twenty, and this is now a Sudden Deathmatch. As Melissa Santos makes the announcement, a wide smile stretches across Adam Cole's face. The Bullet Club emerges from the backstage area.

    Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Yujiro Takahashi, and the Guerillas of Destiny all come running down to the ring. Maddox is grabbing a chair from one of the fans at ringside when a different chair slams across his back, courtesy of Adam Page. Maddox hits the ground, writhing in pain. Walter sees this and expresses concern for his manager, before turning back to the bigger problem as Bullet Club is entering the ring. Walter dispatches a few of them immediately, sending both Young Bucks over the top rope with a double clothesline and big-booting Yujiro's face off, but the Guerrillas of Destiny give him more trouble than he's prepared for.

    Steve Corino reminds fans that the 'Samoan headbutt rule' doesn't apply to Tongans after Walter manages to headbutt Tama Tonga and send him reeling. Big Daddy Walter and Tonga Loa/Roa/whatever exchange blows before Walter throws him out of the ring with force, sending him crashing down onto his Bullet Club brethren. Adam Cole takes a cheap shot and superkicks Walter toward the back of his neck. Walter reacts like he's just noticed a fly landing on him. Big Daddy Walter turns to face Cole. Adam Page sneaks in and hits Walter with a chairshot to the back but Walter is similarly unphased. Page repeats the chairshot again and again, hoping to chip away at Walter's armor.

    After the sixth or seventh shot, Walter drops to a knee and snarls. Page readies the chair for another. He doesn't swing. Adam Cole is asking why he isn't swinging, when he sees what has caught Page's attention: multiple wrestlers are climbing over the barricades with weapons in hand. It's 'A Greater Europe,' here to even the score. The Guerrillas of Destiny's black vests become fodder for chains and pipes as the Bullet Club is dismantled on the outside. It looks like a hooligans' riot in here.

    Walter uses the distraction to stand up and drape his palm firmly across Page's chest. The 'crack' sound echoes throughout the arena, and the fans go "oooooh." Page drops to his knees and clutches his battered pecs. The Young Bucks slide into the ring to avoid Jimmy Havoc's boys on the outside but are greeted with a massive double-lariat from Walter that turns them inside out. It looks like the Bullet Club is going to be outnumbered and this mayhem is going in Europe's favor until even more folks arrive: it's Rush, EVIL, and BUSHI accompanied by Dragon Lee, Hechicero, and Volador Jr.. All were attacked by A Greater Europe the night before and are looking for revenge.

    It becomes an all-out war with the referee doing his best to jump, dodge, and roll to avoid damage. Page has joined the brawl on the outside and is swinging his chair around like a madman. Omega and Rush are doing a number on Havoc's lackeys. Ultimately, due to the added distraction of Los Ingobernables and the luchadors, nobody notices the man wearing a black leather jacket and a black skull mask entering the ring. This man reveals a black baseball bat hiding in his jacket sleeve and procedes to crack Walter in the back of the knees with it.

    Kevin Kelly speculates that Sanada is getting his revenge for what happened the night before. After Greater Europe cost him his spot in the Worldwide 96, Sanada must be doing the same to Big Daddy Walter. But the man takes off his skull mask and it's none other than "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes. The Young Bucks slide into the ring and get into position. Cole and the Young Bucks execute a triple superkick to a kneeling Big Daddy Walter, then another, and another. On the final triple superkick, Cody Rhodes simultaneously smashes Walter in the back of the neck with the baseball bat. Walter finally goes down and Cole wastes no time making a cover. There's a war going on outside the ring and the few who notice what's going on are prevented from doing anything about it as Rhodes plays lookout with his baseball bat. Both Young Bucks jump onto Cole to ensure a pinfall victory at 23:09.

    The war outside the ring continues after the bell, with 'A Greater Europe' forced to retreat as the numbers favor their enemies. Walter rolls out of the ring to a beaten Brad Maddox as the Bullet Club just watches. No beatdown, no heckling - they just watch. An angry Walter picks up Maddox, throws him over a shoulder, and carries him backstage. It's kind of sad, actually. This "moment" is ruined by the Young Bucks shouting 'NEXT WORLD CHAMPION' and similar things as we go backstage with Joey Styles.

    Joey is standing by with Tyson Dux and Monster Mafia (Ethan Page and Josh Alexander). All three are Canada natives who are hoping to follow Speedball Mike Bailey's example and bring a main event win home to Canada. Tyson Dux laments that he feels Sanada's pain, having also lost to Zack Sabre Jr. and being removed from a separate tournament not too long ago... he says that he needs the win here tonight to prove he deserves a spot in THRIVE Pro Wrestling. Ethan Page discusses his and Josh's loss in Japan to a reunited Yoshino/Doi, and claims that winning tonight is paramount if Monster Mafia intends to be in the discussion for a potential Tag Team Championship tournament down the line (their words, not mine). Styles thanks the gentlemen for their time before we return ringside for our sub-main event women's contest.





    Melissa Santos announces Gail Kim as a Toronto native and the veteran comes to the ring with a lot of support from her fellow Canadians. The Alpha Female comes to the ring with a German flag draped over shoulders and a chorus of boos follows. The crowd is firmly behind Gail to win this one, but The Alpha Female is an absolute monster, billed at 6'11” to Gail Kim's 5'4”, and nothing seems to be effective at keeping her down. Gail gets a couple near-falls from cradles and crucifixes but never the 3. Gail tries to use her speed advantage to counter The Alpha Female's strength and avoid big moves, but Alpha is surprisingly nimble for her size. She's also able to take a lot of damage without showing much fatigue.

    Every move or strike The Alpha Female receives is met with cheers. And whenever Alpha finds an opening to assert her dominance, those cheers become frequent boos. Like when Gail flies across the ring and hits a horizontal body avalanche in the corner, but Alpha counters, carries a helpless Gail Kim into the center of the ring, and executes a picture-perfect backbreaker. Alpha also reverses a hurricanrana with a powerbomb for a nearfall.

    The finish comes when Gail mounts a comeback and then goes for Eat Defeat (inverted stomp facebreaker) but as Gail puts her leg up, Alpha DENIES her and grabs Gail by the throat. The Alpha Female hoists Gail Kim up and obliterates her with a wicked Chokeslam to secure the victory at 10:12. After the match, Alpha requests a microphone and one of the ringside officials obliges her. The crowd is booing Alpha Female relentlessly for beating the 'hometown' girl, but once she raises the microphone to her lips, the crowd quiets down a bit to hear what she has to say. The Alpha Female looks down at Gail Kim, then looks straight into the hard camera.

    The Alpha Female: EVIE... ICH WILL DICH WIEDER KÄMPFEN!

    Alpha drops the microphone with one hand and raises the German flag high above her head with the other as the crowd boos. Kevin Kelly says, “I think that means she wants Evie.” Corino imagines that for a giant like Alpha Female, it's got to be really demoralizing to lose to someone so much smaller. He also states that he can't wait to see that match. Kevin Kelly wants to speculate as to whether or not he will have that chance for more than one reason, but there's no time to discuss the matter – our main event of the evening is next.

    The team of Tyson Dux and Monster Mafia makes their way to the ring first and gets a great reaction as Canada natives. Monster Mafia goes out of their way to greet the ringside fans. Tyson is inside the ring and stretching on the ropes. He appears to be taking this very seriously.

    But before we can begin, we hear the theme music of “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega, and the 2016 G1 Climax winner makes his way to the ring with a microphone in hand. He's wearing jeans and a “The Elite” t-shirt. He enters the ring to address his home country.

    Kenny Omega: Wow, it's great to be back in Canada.

    Kenny gets a nice cheap pop for his home country.

    Kenny Omega: Psyche! I wish I was still in Japan. Real talk: in Japan, the fans are respectful and they actually appreciate talent when they see it. That's why it took going over there for yours truly to become a megastar. And unfortunately, for that reason, I am afraid I cannot wrestle for you tonight. Because that would be rewarding bad behavior and setting a terrible precedent for future breakout wrestlers. No – tonight, you will not be witnessing the greatness that is “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega – instead, you will drown in the glory of....... Yujiro Takahashi.

    The crowd boos this announcement.

    Kenny Omega: Relax morons, I'm only joking. Please welcome our newest member, “The American Nightmare” Cody fucking Rhodes.

    Cody's Bullet Club music plays and out comes the man himself. He is flanked by The Young Bucks who are teaching him how to do crotch chops on the way down to the ring, and he's behaving as if he's never seen one before. He gets into the ring, looks over Dux and Monster Mafia, and laughs. They don't appreciate it.









    It's Dux and Rhodes starting things off in this one. All of them are working snug and doing their damnedest to entertain an audience the world over. Everyone gets a little time in the ring and there are many brawls on the outside. Many a superkick as well. Eventually, it comes back to Tyson Dux and Cody Rhodes. Rhodes is firmly in control until Tyson Dux counters an Alabama Slam from Rhodes with a powerbomb onto his knee! Rhodes retreats to his corner to tag out, holding his lower back the whole time. The invincible Matt Jackson is in next, and he's going to need that invulnerability against “Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander.

    The next stretch is Monster Mafia doing a number on Matt and hitting him with a number of different tag team maneuvers. Each is more devastating than the last, but Matt Jackson continues to kick out. Monster Mafia trades tags multiple times before bringing in Tyson Dux. Dux plants Matt with a number of high-impact moves but Matt gets a shoulder up at 2.99 each time. This builds up to an epic hot tag when he's finally able to reach his brother Nick. Nick Jackson enters the ring and 'trips' on the middle rope, falling flat on his face. The Canadian crowd laughs at the ridiculous spot, but it serves its purpose in distracting their opponents, allowing Cody Rhodes to blast Dux with a springboard dropkick before Dux knew what hit him.

    Cody is getting back to his feet when Ethan Page charges at him with a clothesline. Cody ducks the clothesline, runs to the ropes, and then fires back with the Beautiful Disaster (springboard roundhouse kick). Ethan Page sees it coming and pulls the referee into the way. Rhodes annihilates the referee and the crowd cheers. Nick Jackson instinctively hurries into the ring following the ref bump and manages to stop Josh Alexander from entering the ring with a superkick to the face. Josh Alexander is knocked loopy but still holding onto the ropes. Nick hits another superkick and the “Walking Weapon” crashes to the floor. Ethan Page grabs hold of Nick, but Cody appears behind Page and hits a Cross Rhodes out of nowhere. Then, Cody and Nick put the boots to Tyson Dux before dragging him into their corner.

    Cody drapes each of his legs over the second rope to set him up for Shattered Dreams. However, instead of merely punting Tyson in his dukes, Cody does the 'feeling himself up while breathing' taunt that Goldust always used to do but ends it with a crotch chop before superkicking Tyson Dux in the dick! Steve Corino calls it a Shattered Nightmare. The crowd is booing and Cody is loving it. On the outside, Josh Alexander is using the apron to get back to his feet when Kenny Omega cuts him down with yet another superkick. Corino's voice will be hoarse tomorrow.

    Dux slumps out of the corner and onto the mat. Cody laughs, then tags Matt Jackson in. Cody helps Matt get Tyson Dux up. Then Matt puts Tyson Dux in tombstone-position. A second later, Nick Jackson comes flipping through the air and the Young Bucks execute the Meltzer Driver (springboard front-flip spike tombstone) as the referee is regaining his bearings. 1....2...3!

    After the match concludes, the Bullet Club is noticeably "on guard" rather than celebrating obnoxiously. Kelly and Corino are thanking fans for tuning in as Rhodes, Omega, and the Bucks stand in the ring, waiting. But nothing happens. The broadcast ends there.



    We get a video package afterwards, hyping the next THRIVE event. This time it's only one night and it will be taking place live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. See you at TRIFECTA.
    Last edited by The Natural; 02-28-2017 at 10:11 PM.

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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    So, you want some feedback, eh? All right, fine.

    This is a very good BTB.

    ...Oh, you want more? So needy.

    Doing a massive tournament is a bit ambitious, but you've done a great job of balancing out who goes and who continues on, so I commend you for that. Having read through the entirety of your work so far, any of the questions I had about your most recent show have been answered (although teaming Uno and Low Ki is still a bit of a headscratcher). All in all, things are progressing nicely for what amounts to the super-indy to kill all super-indies, but my only concern is the abundance of stables. It can be exciting to watch gang warfare, but balance is needed.

    Still, this has been an enjoyable read thus far and I'm looking forward to the next update.

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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    This is overdue.

    THRIVE 4, NIGHT ONE:

    1. Of course you used Joey Styles I can't help but giggle.

    2. Enjoying the banter between Corino & Kelly. Corino's fun to 'listen' to.

    3. For readers unfamiliar to Lucha rules maybe give them a look at what changes. What with THRIVE being a worldwide thing, I'm still not sure what sort of rules they'll adapt post tournament. Will it still be a showcase for all the world's styles of wrestling with various rules. In which case it'd be cool if you had a list of differentiations in match types on the first posts, IC, I'd picture that as a quick vignette of match rules before every match to debrief readers.

    4. Well what the fuck, I was not expecting that. Jimmy Havoc has a whole fucking army of mooks and I'm super interested in seeing all the awesome gimmick matches that will come out of people trying to take Greater Europe down. Do Los Ingobernables & Bullet Club fade? Do they unite to take them down. Does a THRIVE army in general unite to fight them. Where the fuck is America and Japan's huge ass armies while we're at it. Really loved it though. Don't think ZSJ is in on it but it would be cool if it was. Think Eurotrash will suffer like the rest. The Villain being part of it would be magnificent.

    5. Suzuki disappointing me with his showing but I guess Mr. Athletic was always going through as the younger brighter talent. Think Suzuki-gun wont last long with them weary of Greater Europe. I see them fading after the tourney tbh.

    6. Uhm. Go Rosemary? Yeah I'm unfamiliar with Women indy scene.

    7. Sanada saves face competing but loses with his other arm so he's still a pansy. LIJ is a bunch of pansies like Suzuki-gun, being afraid of Greater Europe coming down. I would've like them to attack ZSJ under the impression he's apart of them.

    8. Unexpected Paul London heel turn or just general frustration that will cool down? Poor Space Monkey. Never heard of him.

    9. I fucking died at Corino's explanation of the match Why are MCMG/Timesplitters even arguing? They lost because the referee fucked up, neither of them are to blame. Stupid ass bitches better go rewatch the tape and realize they're being melodramatic.

    10. Love that Silas Young ended up burying Joey Styles. He's probably my favorite character to read in this thread so far.

    11. It's alright, me and Elgin grew up in the same town, he's allowed to kick my drink. Happy to see Silas Young move on as well because as above, he's the most fun guy to read here.

    12. I WAS WONDERING WHERE SPEEDBALL WAS! Man Jack Evans is a dickhole. You know the first thing he's doing post show is getting a poutine. Fun little main event here in a very entertaining show all around. No MOTYC but some very fun segments and the epic invasion to start the show.

    THRIVE 4, NIGHT TWO:

    1. Goddamn you Ospreay. You should've signed the contract! Fuck Brian Cage -_- Only Cage that matters is Luke Cage, 1/2 your audience, and you're disappointing him.

    2. Hoping Page costs Cole his match against Walter. Happy to see either Fenix or Kamaitachi take the win. Odd assortment of wrestlers for this one but I could still see it being a fun fatal four way full of a mish mash of spots.

    3. Goddamn it Ospreay. That's what you get. You fucked up. Brian Cage fucking sucks. You fucked up. Damn it.

    4. Very interesting set of reactions for Paul London. He's got some heel tendencies in his frustrations but it's understandable considering the suffering you're putting him through and he's trying to be respectful about it even being excited about the prospect of a challenge. Probably one of the more layered characters here. Glad London didn't do any post-match beatdown, I'd like to have him keep tethering the line he's on right now. Someone genuinely done hard by but still thinking to some face ethics.

    5. Tozawa <3 Bring in Ricochet, Moose, Crews and even Strickland so they can fight Greater Europe. Moose & Crews should be fine to take on about 10 of them and Tozawa/Strickland/Ricochet can take on the rest. Ah, what's the use. We'll never see him again. Guess that's it for the Japanese in this tournament?

    6. Man, Greater Europe had a huge debut now they're getting punked out by Ospreay AND Brad fucking Maddox. Looking pretty weak right now. What was pansy ass Suzuki-gun afraid of.

    7. Impending Death by Elbow vs. War Machine match incoming.

    8. Man, Brad Maddox got some A+ managing with that one manager rule. Interesting that Cole approves of Page at his back. Cole is an ROH World Champion (or has he lost at this time) so there's no reason why he should be afraid of Walter but I imagine something shifty is gonna happen. Page screws Cole, maybe.

    9. Loving the main event. Forgot Sudden Death meant No DQ. Brilliant stuff with a whole Bullet Club army coming down. GODDAMN IT CODY! I completely forgot about you! Walter was a monster here and I would love the spectacle of what 30 man beating the shit out of each other at ringside. Show should've ended here. Almost forgot there was a main event.

    10. Do Monster Mafia still team IRL? I was under the impression Ethan Page had gone full solo but I don't pay much attention to the rest of the indy realm.

    11. Oh there's even a sub main event left. Can't think the crowd are into it tbh. If we ever get a womens title, I'm pretty sure Alpha Female's got it on lock.

    12. Poor Yujiro getting inadvertendly burried by his BC member, Kenny Omega. Fun, and entertaining debut for The American Nightmare but still of the mind that the match should've ended after the clusterfuck warfare.

    13. Gahdamn, THRIVE out of the MSG? Was this out of the ACC?

    I think I prefered the second show overall just for the huge clusterfuck segment.

    I hope you enjoyed visiting Canada.
    The Amazing Spider-Man Review Thread
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    3/9 Assignments Finished - then - FREEDOM!

    Brit Wres | Indie Wres | Lucha | Puro

  6. #66
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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    I have been meaning to do this for a long long time but better late than never. I just wanted to start off by saying that this entire booker really is just appealing. If it was poorly written it still would catch your attention. Luckily you are a wonderful writer and deserve to be the booker of the month. This whole tournament has been awesome and I can't wait to see who ends up winning the whole thing. There are so many talents in this booker that I need to look up and learn more about, And as always, I am always a sucker for graphics, so jealous of your match graphics. Once I get more time I'll give you more detailed feedback but this is just to say I am reading and you are doing a damn good job. That's why I voted for you.


  7. #67
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    Time to drop some responses. Thank you to everyone for the reviews and kind words. I really appreciate it. Nobody wants to play music for an empty room. Well, some people do. But they're generally considered crazy and then locked away. Putting these in spoiler tags to reduce clutter.

    Response to Ed

    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Well it's time to grab this BTB show by the ....

    Anyway, I laughed, so no pitchforks are coming your way here from me
    It's such bullshit what happened with Joey Styles. I think getting fired over something like that in the first place is harsh (especially in this biz), the reaction was overkill, and the piling on by others who weren't even involved was fucking pathetic.

    It was as if Styles insulted women or even made the vaguest of notions that sexual assault was a.) appropriate or b.) humorous. He didn't. AT ALL. Context and understanding context is really important in regards to comedy, apparently that's not common sense.

    I must have misunderstood things over the years and assumed Quackenbush was an intelligent person, but nobody remotely intelligent would respond the way he did.

    Sorry to rant but obviously something I feel passionate about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    No tease then, straight into the reveal for Jimmy Havoc and his goons, some talented, some not so much. Havoc's an awesome talker and putty in the hands for any writer that doesn't censor him. Interested to see what kind of stable warfare he ends up in.
    Thank you for noticing this moment was abrupt. The main focus with A.G.E. or G.E. or whatever is that they aren't your average stable. They might resemble an N.W.O. or end up reminiscent of League of Nations, but at no point is this a copy/paste job. There are long term plans for this stable, including growth and other spoilery things, but the number one goal I have is to make them unique. And I think you'll be seeing that little by little.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Boo on the bait and switch for Londrick, if you had a network I'd tweet you saying I was cancelling my subscription tomorrow and getting Mick Foley to pen you a very stern facebook blog. In all seriousness, I hate Space Monkey so this didn't really work for me, although I hate Brian Kendrick more now, so maybe it did.
    It sounds like it worked on all levels haha. I had to change plans when Kendrick became a CW division mainstay and the result is having a more interesting Paul London to work with. The Space Monkey looks like trash and is essentially filling a James Ellsworth role here. I will use him at least once or twice more but there are no long term plans for him, he's just "a body."

    However, in planning my choice of jobber, I purposefully chose someone who "makes sense" as a partner for London for two reasons. One is the space theme, a callback to London coming out in NASA outfits on the indy scene for a while. Two is the 'masked ginger epidemic,' wherein The Space Monkey is like a much less talented El Generico, who Paul London found great success with in PWG. All about that nuance, baby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Suzuki's actions were very interesting in his loss to Cobb. Wanting Suzuki-Gun at ringside, but not to interfere and then giving Cobb the sign of respect. Cobbmania, man, I can feel that tournament win coming.
    Suzuki-gun is downplayed here for two reasons. One is that I really wanted Minoru to be the star and have his army feel more like an extension of him in their actions than a group of characters that should also be paid attention to. The other is that I was fairly certain Suzuki-gun was winding down or starting to become "less of a thing," and didn't want to paint myself in a corner by making them too prominent.

    They were originally scheduled to wrestle in the 8-man tag match for Round 2 Night 2 but I replaced them last minute.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    The women's match felt so throwaway given the detail in the writing compared to every other match on the show. I only remembered it happened when I scanned the post a 2nd time tonight writing up my thoughts.
    Yeah... I wanted to do two things: introduce a new woman, and use a Canada native. With both of those boxes ticked, I moved on. Not necessarily because I don't care about Rosemary, or couldn't have made it more interesting, but because I really only had those two objectives and wanted to leave it at that for now. I would never intentionally underserve the females, it's just a matter of establishing them before doing something with them for now. But I probably could have made Rosemary do more Rosemary-like shit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I was surprised you made the decision for Sanada to lose, but Sabre Jr is an elite talent capable of great matches with anyone so I don't mind and the opening match attack kind of telegraphed this would happen. Tozawa now has to go it alone for Japan if I have my tournament info up to date.
    You *do* have your tournament info up-to-date! Not telling you anything you couldn't easily infer, I'm sure, but might as well explain. When I started planning this tournament, one of the things I wanted was to elevate a few talents or 'establish' them as star players without hurting them too much on their exit.

    For instance, Ricochet is stellar, but I wouldn't let just anybody go over him, and even when Big Daddy Walter did, it took a move through the broadcast table and a countout victory. Ricochet wasn't hurt by it, I don't think.

    Same with Sanada - he managed to defeat Ciampa and Dijak, both good talents, in decisive fashion. Now, not only do I maintain his badass aura by having him handicapped before the match begins and still choosing to fight rather than forfeit, but I also have Sabre Jr vs Sanada in my back pocket for down the road, if I need it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Silas Young cheating to advance. Quick Natty open a book on this BTB so I can win some easy money.
    Yeah, yeah Ed. Ya got me! Really though Silas Young is such a treasure to me. Wish ROH would wake the fuck up and book him like the star he is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Enjoyed Speedball Bailey getting a nice moment and victory in his home country after all the troubles he's had.
    Right? Poor guy. I'm sure the circumstances don't make him out to be wholly innocent in the matter but I'm still sympathetic to his misfortune. Thankfully, we'll be doing plenty of non-U.S. shows with THRIVE so he can consider this a regular gig.

    Can't wait to see what you thought of Night 2. I always assume first that you are just overburdened and unable to respond, but part of me worries if the last Round 4 match turned you off of the project entirely. Only joking, I'm sure you would stick through much worse for me, my fellow Bullet Club fan but I can't imagine you will have enjoyed one letter of that.


    Response to Gambit

    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    Joey Styles’ intro is hilarious.
    Joey Styles is hilarious. I really do love the guy. He may not be an ace on commentary anymore (if he ever was before) but as a personality he still holds a lot of value in wrestling as far as I'm concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    Jimmy F’n Havoc! That was a nice twist. Great Europe is looking to be a force to be reckoned with in THRIVE. I expect to see Los Ingobernables and Bullet Club to respond to this. A three faction war?
    And how can we have a war without some war games? I'm only teasing but something's gotta happen eventually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    Minoru with his collection look to be another strong force.
    Minoru Suzuki has fallen from grace, apparently. I haven't watched much of his stuff in NOAH so I'm not really sure to what extent, but I thought his match with AJ Styles was one of the best I have ever seen and he looked every bit Styles' equal there. He's a damn fun character to write for, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    I knew Sanada would not be walking out his match with Zack victorious
    Yeah, something tells me the odds are in Zack Sabre Jr's favor most of the time he fights, but especially in that match. They may end up getting a proper rematch in the future but that is undetermined as of this writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    The tension between KUSHIDA and Sabin is great. Alex Shelley is in a rock and a hard place between two of his good friends, but I’m thinking maybe KUSHIDA may be the odd man out soon enough.
    The very first 'storyline' I can remember thinking of when conceiving of THRIVE consisted of TimeSplitters/MachineGuns tension, so I'm happy that you've enjoyed the goings-on there, so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    I’m not a fan of Elgin so I’m glad Salis Young won.
    Not too many fans of Elgin, these days. He comes off better fighting in Japan, anyways - they seem to appreciate him and he appreciates being there. Next time THRIVE does Japan an Elgin appearance is all but certain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    A solid update. I'm so glad a project like this is around. THRIVE would be a product I would love to see in real life.
    Thank you for the kind words and keeping up on the product. I know a 96-man tournament isn't the easiest to digest but I couldn't talk myself down from the idea. Hopefully it's even more engaging after we finish this stretch.


    Response to Duke

    Spoiler:


    Quote Originally Posted by Meatwad View Post
    If anyone knows me then one things for sure, I know BTB's, and this is by far the best one.
    There's nobody in the BTB section whose endorsement means more than Meatwad's and that's a #FACT. This was just an alright BTB until you showed up and now it is legendary. I can only hope that the upcoming content meets your high expectations. If you never respond again, I'll just assume that you are loving it.


    Response to Cyrus Truth

    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus Truth View Post
    So, you want some feedback, eh? All right, fine.

    This is a very good BTB.
    Thank you sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus Truth View Post
    Doing a massive tournament is a bit ambitious, but you've done a great job of balancing out who goes and who continues on, so I commend you for that. Having read through the entirety of your work so far, any of the questions I had about your most recent show have been answered (although teaming Uno and Low Ki is still a bit of a headscratcher). All in all, things are progressing nicely for what amounts to the super-indy to kill all super-indies, but my only concern is the abundance of stables. It can be exciting to watch gang warfare, but balance is needed.
    Glad you have enjoyed it so far. I agree that the tournament was ambitious but it's turned out alright, I think. I could have been a bit more patient and released segments of the first round (48 matches) and second round (24 matches)... but those were more to establish the mood than to be scrutinized. Also, it worked out that most people probably skimmed or skipped those, similar to how most people who watched the CWC never saw the qualifying matches. So, to that effect, it worked out well.

    "The Great UnoKi" was the name I laughed to myself about before deciding on "Boss Level." Low Ki and Evil Uno would make a damn great pairing and you know it, Cyrus!! Haha yeah it's a little random but I couldn't help myself. I see a collection of evil dudes who love videgames and that's enough for me.

    Should have I allowed a storyline to give the pairing some precedent? Yes, probably. But in 'reality,' they were singles wrestlers who were flown in for Night 1 and needed something to do on Night 2. After being surprised that their pairing was successful, they decided to ride it out. This is subtext, I suppose, because I never bothered to explain it and for some reason feel at ease with that decision where I normally might not. Don't be surprised if it's casually/briefly mentioned at some point, though, because I'm dying to write some Low Ki promos.

    As for the abundance of stables, rest assured: I got you covered. Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables are the big ones, but the plan with Greater Europe is to establish them as something of an anti-stable, if that makes sense. You'll see what I'm talking about at the next event. I understand your concern completely though, just give it time.


    Response to Luke Cage

    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    This is overdue.
    Uh, yeah. But Civ has a way of taking over people's lives so I understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    1. Of course you used Joey Styles I can't help but giggle.
    If you didn't, read my first response to Ed in this post. Sums up my feelings on the Styles debacle nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    2. Enjoying the banter between Corino & Kelly. Corino's fun to 'listen' to.
    Yeah Corino is a blast. Really going to miss him when he's gone. I have a few ideas in mind for keeping commentary fun later on, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    3. For readers unfamiliar to Lucha rules maybe give them a look at what changes. What with THRIVE being a worldwide thing, I'm still not sure what sort of rules they'll adapt post tournament. Will it still be a showcase for all the world's styles of wrestling with various rules. In which case it'd be cool if you had a list of differentiations in match types on the first posts, IC, I'd picture that as a quick vignette of match rules before every match to debrief readers.
    The rules are going to be pretty traditional, not too much different from what you see on the 'rules' section of my index, but I could definitely do more to describe Lucha tag rules - as I understand them, at least.

    I should probably decide whether or not luchadors will constitute lucha tag rules whenever they're in a tag team match, but I haven't yet! So for now, I'll just say there's regular rules unless otherwise stated, and then state those rules when the time comes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    4. Well what the fuck, I was not expecting that. Jimmy Havoc has a whole fucking army of mooks and I'm super interested in seeing all the awesome gimmick matches that will come out of people trying to take Greater Europe down. Do Los Ingobernables & Bullet Club fade? Do they unite to take them down. Does a THRIVE army in general unite to fight them. Where the fuck is America and Japan's huge ass armies while we're at it. Really loved it though. Don't think ZSJ is in on it but it would be cool if it was. Think Eurotrash will suffer like the rest. The Villain being part of it would be magnificent.
    Glad you enjoyed that clusterfuck of a segment. Won't say anything about Sabre Jr. or Scurll's involvement at this point in time, but I will say that Greater Europe has an interesting future ahead of it, as it pertains to THRIVE and rival factions. We'll learn plenty about them in the next few uploads.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    5. Suzuki disappointing me with his showing but I guess Mr. Athletic was always going through as the younger brighter talent. Think Suzuki-gun wont last long with them weary of Greater Europe. I see them fading after the tourney tbh.
    You're most likely right about them fading away. A lot of what I'm doing with THRIVE is dependent on real world situations, and I don't necessarily want to continue booking Suzuki-gun past their lifespan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    6. Uhm. Go Rosemary? Yeah I'm unfamiliar with Women indy scene.
    Me too, man. Me too. So I just relied on her being Canadian to give fans someone to root for and let that be that. Once some of these women are more established, I'll give them fun stuff. And obviously I'll establish some of them with interesting origins, but for this I just said fuck it and filled a spot. Sometimes that's shitty but with THRIVE being a super indy, and such a match being regular indy fare, I feel it was fine, gives people a breather from the intensive stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    7. Sanada saves face competing but loses with his other arm so he's still a pansy. LIJ is a bunch of pansies like Suzuki-gun, being afraid of Greater Europe coming down. I would've like them to attack ZSJ under the impression he's apart of them.
    I'd like to see you call Sanada a pansy to his face. Either you get lucky with an English word he doesn't know or RIP Luke Cage. I like the idea of them attacking ZSJ under the impression that he's Greater Europe - retaliation makes sense, and if Zack isn't with them, the resentment towards LIJ for their attack might be enough to turn him. I didn't even think of it, but it would have worked on multiple levels. That said, I'm okay with leaving it where I did because I can already hear a few groans over the amount of 'fuckery' that stable warfare has added to the tournament at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    8. Unexpected Paul London heel turn or just general frustration that will cool down? Poor Space Monkey. Never heard of him.
    You could have lived your whole life without ever having to know there's a wrestler parading around as a monkey from space, and you would have been better for it. I apologize.

    I'll be honest/transparent - my original plan was to roll with Brian Kendrick being a force in THRIVE, but my desire to adhere to the limitations of real world events (for authenticity, I guess?) made me reconsider as soon as Kendrick became a main player in WWE's cruiserweight division. Rather than insert London into a role meant for Kendrick, I've decided to go a slightly different route with Paul London. Let's see how it plays out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    9. I fucking died at Corino's explanation of the match Why are MCMG/Timesplitters even arguing? They lost because the referee fucked up, neither of them are to blame. Stupid ass bitches better go rewatch the tape and realize they're being melodramatic.
    Because they are stupid ass bitches is reason enough, isn't it? Really though, I think Sabin probably has his reasons. Hopefully we get to learn them soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    10. Love that Silas Young ended up burying Joey Styles. He's probably my favorite character to read in this thread so far.
    I'm glad you're enjoying him. Easily my favorite character to write for so far. My only gripe with Silas Young is that sometimes his trunks look a little too small. Literally everything else I love. I have no issue calling him one of my favorite wrestlers, so hopefully I do him some justice in THRIVE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    11. It's alright, me and Elgin grew up in the same town, he's allowed to kick my drink.
    No way! That's pretty cool. 'Small world,' and all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    12. I WAS WONDERING WHERE SPEEDBALL WAS! Man Jack Evans is a dickhole. You know the first thing he's doing post show is getting a poutine. Fun little main event here in a very entertaining show all around. No MOTYC but some very fun segments and the epic invasion to start the show.
    Jack Evans as a slightly-buzzed, ranting narcissist is easily my favorite Jack Evans ever. People used to say he was a spotmonkey and nothing more but I see so much in him. Doesn't mean I'll push him to the moon or anything like that but he's definitely going to be a key player for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    1. Goddamn you Ospreay. You should've signed the contract! Fuck Brian Cage -_- Only Cage that matters is Luke Cage, 1/2 your audience, and you're disappointing him.
    Brian Cage is straight reppin' the Cage name in THRIVE and doing so in dominating fashion, you should be proud! Some might say Swolverine > Luke Cage - but you didn't hear it from me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    2. Hoping Page costs Cole his match against Walter. Happy to see either Fenix or Kamaitachi take the win. Odd assortment of wrestlers for this one but I could still see it being a fun fatal four way full of a mish mash of spots.
    You would hope that, you Bullet Club hater, you! And I don't know why you wouldn't want an odd assortment of wrestlers in a fatal four-way. I mean, I guess I could see a technical four-way with Gulak, Thatcher, Sabre Jr and Riddle being quite the spectacle (makes note of this in memo pad), but for the most part I see these multi-man matches being an 'assorted candies tin' of sorts. Variety, spice of life, etc.

    I reckon you're probably pretty happy with the finish, then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    3. Goddamn it Ospreay. That's what you get. You fucked up. Brian Cage fucking sucks. You fucked up. Damn it.
    It's always that stupid fucking kick! Sad to see Ospreay go but he had a real good showing otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    5. Tozawa <3 Bring in Ricochet, Moose, Crews and even Strickland so they can fight Greater Europe. Moose & Crews should be fine to take on about 10 of them and Tozawa/Strickland/Ricochet can take on the rest. Ah, what's the use. We'll never see him again. Guess that's it for the Japanese in this tournament?
    Tozawa and Sanada are out. Can you say "sayonara?"

    Sad to see Tozawa go - he would have been a key figure in THRIVE but I'm sure he'll find great success in WWE. At least, I want to believe they've come a long way since Yoshi Tatsu, so I have high hopes for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    6. Man, Greater Europe had a huge debut now they're getting punked out by Ospreay AND Brad fucking Maddox. Looking pretty weak right now. What was pansy ass Suzuki-gun afraid of.
    It would appear Greater Europe's motivation and methodology remains a mystery...

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    7. Impending Death by Elbow vs. War Machine match incoming.
    IT IS IMPENDING. Seriously though, what a match they would put on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    8. Man, Brad Maddox got some A+ managing with that one manager rule. Interesting that Cole approves of Page at his back. Cole is an ROH World Champion (or has he lost at this time) so there's no reason why he should be afraid of Walter but I imagine something shifty is gonna happen. Page screws Cole, maybe.
    No reason? Have you seen Big Daddy Walter? Adam Cole would need to find some magic beans, plant them, grow a vine to the heavens, and climb that sumbitch before the match could even start!

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    9. Loving the main event. Forgot Sudden Death meant No DQ. Brilliant stuff with a whole Bullet Club army coming down. GODDAMN IT CODY! I completely forgot about you! Walter was a monster here and I would love the spectacle of what 30 man beating the shit out of each other at ringside. Show should've ended here. Almost forgot there was a main event.
    I had considered moving the Cole/Walter match to the main event but didn't for a couple reasons. One being that I made it a point that none of the Worldwide 96 matches would be main events, so as not to clearly value any competitor over another. Two being that although ending the show with a big finish is cool, it's an ending that's been done to death.

    Putting this big moment in the middle of the card, to me, presents us with a format you really have to watch from start to finish, instead of only expecting big moments where they "seem appropriate."

    "Anything can happen at any time" is the vibe I would like to foster. Both the debut of Greater Europe in an opening match, and the war between factions during the middle of a card, are intentional decisions toward meeting this goal.

    Instead of the typical 'everyone is beating the hell out of each other but we're out of time' finish, I decided to go "subtle" with it, and show us that the Bullet Club has been affected by Jimmy Havoc's group.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    10. Do Monster Mafia still team IRL? I was under the impression Ethan Page had gone full solo but I don't pay much attention to the rest of the indy realm.
    They were competing together as Monster Mafia when THRIVE began, but have not split in THRIVE... yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    11. Oh there's even a sub main event left. Can't think the crowd are into it tbh. If we ever get a womens title, I'm pretty sure Alpha Female's got it on lock.
    I wouldn't be too bothered if they weren't that into it, tbh. After the big crazy brouhaha from Cole/Walter, fans need a little time to 'come down,' as it were. This match represents an intentional lull between that and the main event, but also serves to give Alpha a boost (as if she needed one). All about that balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    12. Poor Yujiro getting inadvertendly burried by his BC member, Kenny Omega. Fun, and entertaining debut for The American Nightmare but still of the mind that the match should've ended after the clusterfuck warfare.
    Yujiro is a joke even among his BC brethren. I imagine this extends to real life as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    13. Gahdamn, THRIVE out of the MSG? Was this out of the ACC?
    When THRIVE gets big enough, imma put a call in to the Great Power Uti and see if we can't get into some of his venues for some epic Africa action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Cage View Post
    I think I prefered the second show overall just for the huge clusterfuck segment.

    I hope you enjoyed visiting Canada.
    I really did, especially since I'll never get there on the Death Road...

    Also, I'm sorry to report that I ate up all the poutine and there's none left. Sorry not sorry.


    Response to The Grange

    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Grange View Post
    I have been meaning to do this for a long long time but better late than never. I just wanted to start off by saying that this entire booker really is just appealing. If it was poorly written it still would catch your attention. Luckily you are a wonderful writer and deserve to be the booker of the month. This whole tournament has been awesome and I can't wait to see who ends up winning the whole thing. There are so many talents in this booker that I need to look up and learn more about, And as always, I am always a sucker for graphics, so jealous of your match graphics. Once I get more time I'll give you more detailed feedback but this is just to say I am reading and you are doing a damn good job. That's why I voted for you.
    Thank you very much, Grange. I hope that you do end up looking up the people that you don't know - all of them (except The Space Monkey) deserve more attention. Loads of talent here. Appreciate the vote of confidence and hope you'll stay tuned as THRIVE continues its journey through its next big event and whatever the future holds.

  8. #68
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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    It'll be real interesting how much real life might fuck with THRIVE.

    Are some of the guys in the UK tourney in Greater Europe (I feel like there might be one or two guys?) and does WWE allow them to keep competing with THRIVE? Imagine if Havoc was in it

    Do Ospreay/Scurll get ruled out because of their ROH contracts (I'm not sure how they're structured tbh).

    At least THRIVE has good relations with CMLL/NJPW. Still would love to see you branch out beyond DG/NJPW in terms of importing Japanese wrestlers.

    Looking forward to the next one Natty.
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    Special Announcement

    Officials are excited to announce that the final matches in the Worldwide 96 tournament have been booked for our live show in Madison Square Garden. We have also been informed that Evie has accepted the challenge made by The Alpha Female and they will be competing in singles competition. As usual, a few matches will remain unlisted...



    THRIVE COMES TO YOU LIVE
    FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
    IN NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK




    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS
    SILAS YOUNG vs PENTAGON JR

    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS
    ZACK SABRE JR vs BRIAN CAGE

    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS
    JEFF COBB vs ADAM COLE

    GRUDGE MATCH!
    EVIE vs THE ALPHA FEMALE

    TAG TEAM WARFARE!
    WAR MACHINE vs DEATH BY ELBOW

    - WORLDWIDE 96 -
    - FINAL ROUND -

    TRIPLE THREAT MATCH

    THRIVE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    FINALIST vs FINALIST vs FINALIST



    The event will be taking place soon. As always, card is subject to change.

  10. #70
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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS

    SILAS YOUNG vs PENTAGON JR: Silas Young to win. I think we all know how much you love Silas Young at this point and I think he'd be a fun part of the main event.

    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS

    ZACK SABRE JR vs BRIAN CAGE: I really hope Zack Sabre Jr. wins this but there's a good chance you give it to Brian Cage. ZSJ is definitely the better man but I also think a Cage/Young/Cobb main event works better as a triple threat.

    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS

    JEFF COBB vs ADAM COLE: Jeff Cobb for sure, me thinks. I don't want him to win the whole thing but I could see why he'd be a good guy to give the title to. He's got the look. He's dominant in the ring. He's young. Of the six, I'd rather ZSJ to win it all but Jeff Cobb looks like the likeliest candidate.

    GRUDGE MATCH!

    EVIE vs THE ALPHA FEMALE: Evie coming up with an underhanded way to win would be cool but I wonder if you'll write Evie off and give Alpha Female the win since Evie's off to the WWE.

    TAG TEAM WARFARE!

    WAR MACHINE vs DEATH BY ELBOW: Death by Elbow? Hero is off to the WWE too it seems but not sure if that's official yet, so I can see War Machine winning.

    - WORLDWIDE 96 -
    - FINAL ROUND -

    TRIPLE THREAT MATCH

    THRIVE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    FINALIST vs FINALIST vs FINALIST:
    Jeff Cobb in all likelihood. If you have Silas Young/Cage/Cobb main event, it'll be great to see Young deal with two of the manliest guys in wrestling and not being able to use underhanded tactics. Ideally, ZSJ is in this and wins.
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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    Very quick thoughts on the last show because it's Christmas Eve and there's vodka to be had.

    Enjoyed the shout out to myself in the Ospreay/Havoc segment. I do like how true to European pride Havoc is that he's willing to offer his services to make sure no non-European make the final of the Worldwide 96. Ospreay rejecting the services is grade A babyface work.

    Sad to see Tozawa lose. Japans last hope.

    Now here's something you'll be surprised at, I actually think Cole/WALTER should of main evented the show because the post match angle with all the stables brawling was so hot, it should of closed the show. Cody teaming with the Young Bucks later in the show felt like a colder end to the show and could of been something worth hyping up for a future show.

    Trifecta Predictions:


    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS
    SILAS YOUNG vs PENTAGON JR

    I'm going to go with Pentagon for this one regardless of the attention Silas Young has in this thread. Young making the final with the other two guys in my predictions would seem less 'global' an ending for a worldwide 96 tournament and I think you're going to go with Pentagon to bring another dimension to the final. Silas has a character developed in this thread and has enough momentum reaching the Semi-Finals to go onto great things. Pentagon would feel a little lost in the shuffle if he didn't make it.

    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS
    ZACK SABRE JR vs BRIAN CAGE

    Absolutely the toughest match to predict, I'm going to go with my gut feeling that you want different styles and different nations in the final triple threat, so I'll go with the wizard Zack Sabre Jr to somehow score a clever fall or submission on the machine from the 5...5...9.

    WORLDWIDE 96 SEMI-FINALS
    JEFF COBB vs ADAM COLE

    I picked Cobb to win the tournament a few shows ago, so obviously I'm going for him here as well. Adam Cole Baybay is involved in the Bullet Club stable wars things and I don't think you want your top championship to be a secondary story to that war. Your cards will be deeper in importance if the title isn't involved with that stuff.

    GRUDGE MATCH!
    EVIE vs THE ALPHA FEMALE

    Alpha Female to win, if past Natty booking is anything to go by, you might decide to write Evie off with her impending WWE signing. Don't think anyone would blame you for keeping a few WWE signings to yourself in this alternative universe.

    TAG TEAM WARFARE!
    WAR MACHINE vs DEATH BY ELBOW

    War Machine are a team I could see you positioning as a force in Thrive off the back of some great tour in New Japan, they didn't take the fall in the Chaos match after all. I'll go with them here.

    - WORLDWIDE 96 -
    - FINAL ROUND -
    TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
    THRIVE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
    FINALIST vs FINALIST vs FINALIST

    Cobbmania baby.

  12. #72
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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    Pentagon, Sabre, and Cole to advance to the finals. The Alpha Female to squash Evie as she moves on to the E, presumably of course. And War Machine to win.

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    Big Ass Recap

    This is a summary of THRIVE from the first round of the Worldwide 96 up to the quarter-finals (Round 4). The next event will feature the semi-final and final rounds of the tournament to crown our first World Champion.

    If you're new, this is a great way to catch up somewhat quickly*.

    If you're not, this should refresh your memory on certain things,
    but you aren't missing anything new by skipping to the Round 5 preview.

    *Obviously, not everything is going to make the cut, so be warned there's some podcasts and fun dialogue that you would be missing out on by skipping ahead, but do whatever you want. I'm not your mother.


    Welcome to Natty's Big Ass Recap. And no, this is not a Natalya Neidhart career retrospective. Today we will be taking a look at the past few months of action that bring us to our next special event: TRIFECTA in New York City. There have been ninety (yes, 90) matches in the tournament so far and only four remain. There have also been a handful of noteworthy non-tournament matches that deserve mention during our two-night events for rounds 3 and 4. This recap will look at some highlights and significant moments. Sit back, relax, and join us on a journey through time.


    The first 48 matches in the Worldwide 96 took place at small venues throughout the world, giving us a total of 8 hours, 12 minutes, and 6 seconds of wrestling. Average length ended up being between 9-12 minutes per match. No contest went over the 20 minute time limit.

    “The Bastard” Dave Mastiff holds the record for winning the shortest match in THRIVE with a pinfall victory over the former Chris Masters in 1 minute 58 seconds, due in part to Masters severely underestimating the ‘little big man,’ eating a Cannonball as a result, and being pinned before he could realize what had hit him.

    Second-shortest win goes to Big Daddy Walter who obliterated Brian Myers in 2 minutes 5 seconds, after a promo from his manager (Brad Maddox) which may have lasted longer. We saw Akira Tozawa defeat Willie Mack in just less than nineteen minutes, giving us the longest match of the round, although they could have gone another twenty and nobody would have complained.

    Matt Sydal grabbed an upset win against Moose when he was able to counter the big man’s Spear with a small package. Working heel for THRIVE, Sydal celebrated like he had just won the Super Bowl. Moose showed good sportsmanship regardless.

    Former WWE superstar Lance Storm got a surprisingly quick win over TJ Perkins in 5 minutes 53 seconds, when Perkins over-estimated the effect that age had taken on the uber-serious Canadian. Storm would later explain why it made sense on his website.

    Sami Callihan and Pete Dunne have a brutal barn-burner that sees Callihan busted open the hard way. A tremendous showing for Dunne as he looks every bit Callihan’s equal, but ultimately loses to ‘the former Solomon Crowe’ at 16 minutes, 21 seconds, when he’s forced to submit to the Stretch Muffler.

    Adam Page managed to score a victory over Dragon Lee after messing with the luchador’s mask and then lariat-ing the shit out of him while he was trying to fix it. Dragon Lee was on everyone’s radar for his fantastic series of matches with Kamaitachi so the outcome came as a surprise to many, perhaps even “The Hangman” himself...

    Monster Mafia’s Josh Alexander surprised many when he managed to best Killer Elite Squad’s Lance Archer at 11 minutes, 12 seconds. And equally shocking was what quick work Brian Cage made of Mark Briscoe in a match that lasted just over five minutes. Despite the short length, Cage was sure to get his shit in.

    The only countout victory in the first round goes to the Beaver Boys’ John Silver who managed to make it back to the ring a second before Trent Baretta. THRIVE employs a 20-second time limit like New Japan Pro Wrestling, though ours might be a bit more strictly enforced.

    Round 1 also gave us the first disqualification in our company’s history, when ”Speedball” Mike Bailey faced then-IWGP Champion Tetsuya Naito. It looked like Naito was poised to take the win with Destino but rather than hitting his finisher, Naito instead kicked Bailey in his speedballs. After tarnishing the tournament, Naito hit the referee with Destino, grabbed his championship belt, and left.

    It’s being speculated that Kota Ibushi and ACH have been tapped to portray Tiger Mask characters for a special match at Wrestle Kingdom 11. If that is the case, then fans unknowingly got a preview in our first round, when Kota Ibushi defeated ACH with a bridging package fallaway powerbomb he calls the ‘Phoenix-Plex’ at just under 12 minutes.

    In an amateur wrestling fan’s dream match, Jeff Cobb upset Shelton Benjamin after a grueling contest. Both men brought their A game but ultimately it was “Mr. Athletic” Jeff Cobb scoring a W after the Tour of the Islands at 15 minutes 13 seconds. They really took each other to the limit and it’s rumored that Shelton Benjamin may have been injured as a result.

    In a match that went 16 minutes 52 seconds, Chris Hero defeated Hanson. Prior to the match, fans chanted ”Ring of Honor”, both at Hanson for wrestling there and at Chris Hero for not wrestling there anymore. Hero jokingly offered Hanson a pre-match handshake, which Hanson declined. After a spinning roundhouse kick to the face gave “The Knockout Artist” the win, Hanson begrudgingly shook Hero’s hand.

    And in the final match of Round 1, Michael Bennett and his lovely wife Maria went home with a win over Katsuyori Shibata in what is easily the upset of the tournament up to this point. It took a distraction from Maria and Divine Intervention, but “The Miracle” is advancing to Round 2!

    List of Finishes:
    Spoiler:

    01 | Rocky Romero defeats Caleb Konley via pinfall after the Nomisugi Knee (05:53)
    02 | Eddie Kingston defeats Timothy Thatcher via pinfall after a Backfist to the Future (08:32)
    03 | Low Ki defeats Tama Tonga via pinfall after Warrior's Way (09:17)
    04 | Big Daddy Walter defeats Brian Myer svia pinfall after a Golden Bomb (02:05)
    05 | BUSHI defeats Joey Ryan via pinfall after MX (08:02)
    06 | Donovan Dijak defeats Jonathan Gresham via pinfall after Feast Your Eyes (07:46)
    07 | Dave Mastiff defeats Chris Mordetzky via pinfall after a Cannonball (01:58)
    08 | Chuck Taylor defeats Tracy Williams via pinfall after the Awful Waffle (05:05)
    09 | Silas Young defeats Mark Coffey via pinfall after Misery (11:21)
    10 | Matt Sydal defeats Moose via pinfall with a small package (13:22)
    11 | John Silver defeats Trent? via countout (08:37)
    12 | Roderick Strong defeats Jay White via pinfall after the End of Heartache (11:28)
    13 | Johnny Gargano defeats Rampage Brown via submission with Gargano Escape (09:39)
    14 | Trevor Lee defeats Alex Shelley via pinfall with an Orange Crush (12:24)
    15 | Matt Riddle defeats Chris Dickinson via submission with a Triangle Hold (10:43)
    16 | Mike Bailey defeats Tetsuya Naito via disqualification (08:04)
    17 | Ryusuke Taguchi defeats Kazarian via pinfall with Dodon's Throne (07:56)
    18 | Lance Storm defeats TJ Perkins via submission with the Calgary Crab (05:53)
    19 | Akira Tozawa defeats Willie Mack via pinfall with a Bridging Delayed German Suplex (18:35)
    20 | Tommaso Ciampa defeats Volador Jr. via pinfall after Project Ciampa (11:30)
    21 | Sanada defeats Matt Cross via submission with Skull End (07:16)
    22 | Fenix defeats Rickey Shane Page via pinfall after the Spanish Fly (08:29)
    23 | Rush defeats Andrew Everett via pinfall after Martillo Negro (14:10)
    24 | Sami Callihan defeats Pete Dunne via submission with the Stretch Muffler (16:21)
    25 | Adam Page defeats Dragon Lee via pinfall after Rite of Passage (13:44)
    26 | JT Dunn defeats Christopher Daniels via knockout with the Rolling Elbow (09:49)
    27 | King Cuerno defeats Tony Nese via pinfall after Thrill of the Kill (07:58)
    28 | Tomohiro Ishii defeats Tommy End via pinfall after a Brainbuster (15:01)
    29 | Josh Alexander defeats Lance Archer via pinfall after a Pearl River Plunge (11:12)
    30 | Kamaitachi defeats Cedric Alexander via pinfall after the Fisherman Suplex (12:37)
    31 | Adam Cole defeats Mikey Whiplash via pinfall with the Florida Key (13:36)
    32 | Brian Cage defeats Mark Briscoe via pinfall after Weapon X (05:10)
    33 | Big Damo defeats David Hart Smith via pinfall with the Bann River Boot (10:55)
    34 | Dalton Castle defeats David Starr via pinfall with Bang-A-Rang (09:29)
    35 | Kyle O'Reilly defeats Fred Yehi via pinfall with a Brainbuster (11:37)
    36 | Zack Sabre Jr defeats PJ Black via submission with the New School Armbreaker (09:32)
    37 | Kota Ibushi defeats ACH via pinfall with the Phoenix-Plex (11:49)
    38 | Jack Evans defeats Jushin Thunder Liger via pinfall with a sunset flip (06:13)
    39 | Michael Elgin defeats Joey Janela via pinfall with an Elgin Bomb (11:06)
    40 | Pentagon Jr defeats Bobby Fish via pinfall with the Pentagon Driver (08:37)
    41 | Jeff Cobb defeats Shelton Benjamin via pinfall with a Tour of the Islands (15:13)
    42 | Marty Scurll defeats KUSHIDA via submission with a Crossface Chickenwing (08:32)
    43 | Ricochet defeats Noam Dar via pinfall after the 630 Senton (13:35)
    44 | Will Ospreay defeats Lio Rush via pinfall after an OsCutter (10:21)
    45 | Johnny Mundo defeats Chris Sabin via pinfall with the End of the World (12:48)
    46 | Minoru Suzuki defeats Kongo Kong via referee stoppage with a Sleeper Hold (08:27)
    47 | Chris Hero defeats Hanson via pinfall after the Spinning Roundhouse Kick (16:52)
    48 | Michael Bennett defeats Katsuyori Shibata via pinfall after Divine Intervention (13:27)


    Round 2 gave us 24 matches and a total of 4 hours, 23 minutes, and 54 seconds of pro wrestling goodness. The average match length was around 11 minutes. Shortest match was Big Daddy Walter defeating Chuck Taylor at 5 minutes, 24 seconds, where fans witnessed the death of the “Serious Wrestler” gimmick that Chuckie T had only recently debuted. RIP.

    The longest match of the round saw Akira Tozawa defeat Sami Callihan at 24 minutes 4 seconds, giving our company its first Sudden Deathmatch in the process. For the uninitiated, the Sudden Deathmatch is how THRIVE handles all time limits. Rather than leave audiences with a dissatisfying finish, all matches that reach their time limit become a deathmatch without rules. Whether or not the performers choose to indulge in the lack of limitations is up to them. Tozawa put Callihan away with a Bridging German Suplex on the concrete floor!

    “The Last Real Man” Silas Young defeated Ryusuke Taguchi with Misery. After the match, he sat Taguchi up, put Taguchi’s sunglasses back on his face, and then slapped them right off. Silas would later complain about being booked against a ‘comedy wrestler.’

    Fenix was defeated by Kyle O’Reilly in a wild contest that had fans chanting just as hard for both men. In the end, it was a Brainbuster from O’Reilly that would secure the victory and see KOR advancing to Round 3.

    JT Dunn and Zack Sabre Jr. had a great match that ended abruptly when Dunn tried to finish things too early with a Rolling Elbow. Zack saw it coming and countered with a Cross Armbreaker to score a submission victory at 8 minutes 52 seconds.

    The ever-sneaky Matt Sydal defeated Johnny Gargano after getting his feet on the ropes without the referee seeing and using the leverage to keep Gargano rolled up. Sydal again celebrated like his next stop was Disneyland. The other member of #DIY, Tommaso Ciampa, was defeated by L-I-J’s Sanada, after Sanada weakened Ciampa’s legs so that he could not save himself from Sanada’s beautiful dragon sleeper. Ciampa was forced to tap at 9 minutes, 12 seconds.

    Speaking of Los Ingobernables, Dalton Castle fell to BUSHI, after Dalton used his peacock feathers to block the poison mist, but had no countermeasure for a BUSHI boot-to-the-groin. The referee didn’t see it, so BUSHI advanced to Round 3.

    “The Hangman” Adam Page earned another surprising victory, this time over Chris Hero, who made a valiant effort in fighting off the Bullet Club but had his piledriver reversed into Page’s Rite of Passage for a sudden three count.

    Jeff Cobb defeated Tomohiro Ishii in a quick match that left fans wanting much more. The two wrestled at a breakneck speed that saw neither man taking any breaks. Ishii charged Cobb for a lariat but Cobb reversed it into his Tour of the Islands and Ishii was unable to kick out until after the referee’s hand had hit the mat a third time. Very close finish. Ishii shakes Cobb’s hand out of respect, but it’s obvious he was upset at the outcome.

    After giving a promo that lasted a lifetime, Jack Evans was defeated by ”Speedball” Mike Bailey, in a match which saw Evans’ drunken master shtick put to the test against a legitimate student of karate. Evans’ desire to show off was his undoing, as Bailey countered a back handspring elbow with a reverse frankensteiner and then crushed the fallen Evans with a Shooting Star Double Knee Drop to advance at 13 minutes, 4 seconds.

    In another surprising finish, Matt Riddle lost to “The Miracle” Michael Bennett after Bennett tapped out while Maria had the referee distracted. Riddle released his hold thinking he had won, only to be shown some Divine Intervention (samoan driver) at 11 minutes, 1 second. Between this and the Shibata defeat, Bennett is becoming a frontrunner for the internet’s most hated wrestler in THRIVE.

    Lance Storm’s run comes to an end when he is paired off against King Cuerno and given the Thrill of the Kill at 7 minutes, 20 seconds. Storm hasn’t lost a step in his age but Cuerno was fighting like a man possessed and put the veteran down in decisive fashion.

    Pentagon Jr. and Trevor Lee had a great match that went 15 minutes, 30 seconds, before Pentagon was able to put Lee away with the Pentagon Driver. Both the match and finish were brutal AF and got a good response from the crowd.

    Roderick Strong attacked a referee with the End of Heartache after being defeated by Kamaitachi with a Fisherman Suplex. At 9 minutes, 7 seconds, it wasn’t the shortest match, but the finish came out of nowhere and caught Roderick by surprise. His outburst at the end got a big pop, but it is Kamaitachi who will be advancing to Round 3.

    In the final match of Round 2, Will Ospreay defeats Kota Ibushi at 14 minutes, 40 seconds, with an impressive 630 Splash that ends up as a highly-upvoted .gif on /r/squaredcircle. The two put on an outstanding contest against one another and when Ospreay offered Ibushi a handshake after the match, Ibushi denied him, instead opting to hug the “Aerial Assassin” from Essex following their terrific bout. The crowd roared in approval.

    List of Matches and Finishes:
    Spoiler:

    01 | Marty Scurll defeats John Silver via submission with a Crossface Chickenwing (09:31)
    02 | Donovan Dijak defeats Rocky Romero via pinfall after Feast Your Eyes (07:45)
    03 | Silas Young defeats Ryusuke Taguchi via pinfall after Misery (12:25)
    04 | Kyle O'Reilly defeats Fenix via pinfall after a Brainbuster (13:20)
    05 | Zack Sabre Jr. defeats JT Dunn via submission with the New School Armbreaker (08:52)
    06 | Brian Cage defeats Dave Mastiff via pinfall after a Discus Lariat (08:39)
    07 | Matt Sydal defeats Johnny Gargano via pinfall after a roll-up (05:39)
    08 | BUSHI defeats Dalton Castle via pinfall after the MX (07:20)
    09 | Adam Page defeats Chris Hero via pinfall after the Rite of Passage (12:49)
    10 | Johnny Mundo defeats Low Ki via pinfall after the End of the World (10:04)
    11 | Akira Tozawa defeats Sami Callihan via pinfall with a Bridging Delayed German Suplex (24:04)
    12 | Sanada defeats Tommaso Ciampa via submission with Skull End (09:12)
    13 | Jeff Cobb defeats Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall after a Tour of the Islands (06:39)
    14 | Mike Bailey defeats Jack Evans via pinfall after a Shooting Star Double Knee Drop (13:04)
    15 | Ricochet defeats Rush via pinfall with the Benadryller (13:29)
    16 | Big Daddy Walter defeats Chuck Taylor via pinfall with a Powerbomb (05:24)
    17 | Michael Elgin defeats Big Damo via pinfall after an Elgin Bomb (17:37)
    18 | Adam Cole defeats Josh Alexander via pinfall with the Florida Key (08:20)
    19 | Michael Bennett defeats Matt Riddle via pinfall with Divine Intervention (11:01)
    20 | King Cuerno defeats Lance Storm via pinfall with Thrill of the Kill (07:20)
    21 | Minoru Suzuki defeats Eddie Kingston via referee stoppage with a Sleeper Hold (12:03)
    22 | Pentagon Jr. defeats Trevor Lee via pinfall with the Pentagon Driver (15:30)
    23 | Kamaitachi defeats Roderick Strong via pinfall with a Fisherman Suplex (09:07)
    24 | Will Ospreay defeats Kota Ibushi via pinfall with the 630 Splash (14:40)


    Round 3 saw us hosting shows in London, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, California. These special events featured various local competitors as well as special attractions flown in from across the world. There were a total of 12 tournament matches in Round 3, giving us a total of 2 hours, 57 minutes, and 47 seconds of Worldwide 96 action.

    'London Calling' - Live from London, England

    The first match to ever take place under a THRIVE banner was a fatal four-way between Tama Tonga, Mark Haskins, Sami Callihan, and Tommaso Ciampa in London, England. It was won by Mark Haskins, who would subsequently announces his hiatus to deal with health issues. It's worth noting that Jimmy Havoc was at the event and seen walking through the venue but did not compete. Backstage segments over the course of the two-night event showed that he was having some sort of meeting with Johnny Saint and Nigel McGuinness, but the details surrounding it are uncertain...

    Zack Sabre Jr. was on top of his game when he vanquished BUSHI, using BUSHI's own Los Ingobernables shirt against him to block the infamous 'mist' and secure victory with a Cross Armbreaker at 10 minutes, 52 seconds. This makes Seiya Sanada the last remaining 'Ingobernable' in the tournament.

    Christopher Daniels and Kazarian held the 'DWC' or 'Daniels Wrestling Clinic,' putting on an over-the-top battle royale to determine who would face the "Ring General" in singles competition. It was won by Josh Bodom, who would subsequently lose to Christopher Daniels 1-on-1 when Daniels used a low blow that the referee could not see. The wily veteran gave young Bodom a lesson in respect and 'devious heel tactics' he won't soon forget.

    In the second of four Round 3 matches that would take place in London, Will Ospreay defeated Adam Page at 15 minutes, 32 seconds, when Adam Cole (baybay!) pulled the referee out of the ring and got his fellow Bullet Club associate disqualified. This made Adam Cole the last remaining Bullet Club representative in the tournament.

    Night 2 in London kicked off with another fatal four-way, this time with Fenix emerging victorious against Lio Rush, Darby Allin, and ACH. The third match of Round 3 saw Big Daddy Walter defeat Ricochet by countout, when Walter powerbombed Ricochet through the timekeeper's table and the "Future of Flight" was unable to return to the ring in time. This gives Big Daddy Walter the shortest win of Round 3 and Round 2.

    A six-man tag team match saw Colt Cabana, Dave Mastiff, and Mark Haskins picking up the win against "The Hangman" Adam Page and the Guerrillas of Destiny, when Pastor William Eaver and his 'druids' showed up to counter interference by Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi while "Personal Jesus" played in the background. Chants of 'blessed in the world' and 'we believe!' echoed throughout the small arena.

    In the fourth match of Round 3, Adam Cole defeated "The Villain" Marty Scurll in a match that saw both men using everything in their how-to-be-a-heel handbooks. Ultimately, it was 'powder to the eyes' that did Marty in, and made "The Villain" the only European to be eliminated from the Worldwide 96 in London.

    There was also a surprise video appearance by none other than "Broken" Matt Hardy, who promised to bring his special brand of DELETION to Los Angeles for our California Round 3 event. Only instead of 'DELETE,' he said 'EXTERMINATE!' because, y'know, England.

    The main event of 'London Calling' Night 2 saw Mark Andrews, Will Ospreay, and Zack Sabre Jr. defeat Jack Evans and The Addiction in six-man tag team action, after Evans spent the better part of ten minutes shit-talking the London crowd. Needless to say, the hometown heroes got a huge ovation for their victory. Backstage, we caught a glimpse of Johnny Saint and Nigel McGuinness fraternizing with Jimmy Havoc but the reason for their meeting is unknown as-of-yet...

    'California Dreaming' - Live from Los Angeles, California, USA

    The opening match in L.A. saw Catch Point's Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi defeat Brian Kendrick and Paul London in tag team action. After the match, an irate Brian Kendrick turned on London and beat him while he was down, before heading backstage to verbally berate him as well. Many believe there was a lot of truth in what Kendrick had to say.

    Evie defeated The Alpha Female in 6 minutes, 42 seconds, when she surprised the German giant with a victory roll to counter an electric chair drop. The Alpha Female looked absolutely livid but was able to compose herself before leaving the ring following her loss.

    In the first Round 3 match of our California set, and the 5th match of Round 3, Pentagon Jr. was victorious over Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis. "The Miracle" ducked to avoid Pentagon Jr's mist spray and inadvertantly put his wife in the crosshairs. Bennett was distracted by her collapsing to the outside and ate a Package Piledriver for his troubles.

    The 6th match of Round 3 saw "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin defeat Johnny Mundo in 13 minutes, 30 seconds, after Elgin hit a big Elgin Bomb on the Lucha Underground star. Perhaps if this match had taken place in 'Slamtown,' things might have gone differently.

    The main event of 'California Dreaming' Night 1 saw Kenny Omega facing Johnny Gargano in a dream match that lasted 17 minutes, 43 seconds, before Omega put Gargano away with the One-Winged Angel. Afterwards, the Bullet Club victory celebration was cut short when "Broken" Matt Hardy appeared at the entranceway to challenge Kenny Omega to a match.

    Night 2's first Round 3 match (#7/12 for those keeping count) saw Sanada defeat Donovan Dijak by submission at 13 minutes, 2 seconds. Sanada cut an interview in Japanese after the match, where he promised global dominance by Los Ingobernables...

    Low Ki and Evil Uno found unexpected success as the last minute replacement for Londrick in a three-way tag team match, after it was determined that Paul London and Brian Kendrick would not be competing together again. They defeated the team of Candice LeRae and Joey Ryan as well as Fred Yehi and Tracy Williams at 13 minutes, 54 seconds.

    The 8th of 12 matches in Round 3 saw Jeff Cobb picking up the win over Kyle O'Reilly in a crazy match that gave us the second Sudden Deathmatch in THRIVE history. Typically, this means a match devolves into absolute chaos, involving weapons, devious tactics, and/or fighting on the outside of the ring. However, both men shook hands and apparently agreed to keep it clean, because nothing of that sort was involved. Cobb advaned with a Tour of the Islands at 22 minutes, 16 seconds.

    In 'California Dreaming' Night 2's sub-main event, Evie and The Alpha Female teamed up in a losing effort against Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto. Evie and Alpha had trouble getting along as Alpha had been holding a grudge from their match the night before. This led to Alpha being very rough with her tags and ultimately provoking Evie to leave her stranded in a 2-on-1 scenario. Nakajima scored the win with a Diving Double Foot Stomp to Alpha Female's back at 14 minutes, 11 seconds.

    In the main event, it was time for Kenny Omega to meet "Broken" Matt Hardy's challenge, but he wouldn't be alone. Omega and The Young Bucks prepared for six-man tag team action without knowing just who their opponents would be.

    After a bait-and-switch suggested we would see Hardy teaming with Gangrel and Hurricane Helms (thanks to bottled water from the Lake of Transformation...), the Bullet Club was surprised to see that their opponents would actually be "Broken" Matt, 2009-era Jeff Hardy, and none other than Kota fucking Ibushi. Omega looked like he had seen a ghost. Deletion prevailed when "Broken" Matt, Brother Nero, and Kota Ibushi picked up the win after everyone hit their top-rope finishers.

    'Tokyo Rising' - Live from Tokyo, Japan

    Night 1 from Tokyo started off with Los Ingobernables de Japon addressing the THRIVE audience worldwide. Naito congratulated Sanada on his Round 3 victory and wished him luck in Round 4. Naito let fans know he was slated for match but had no idea who his opponent was. The fans went nuts when Ricochet appeared, looking to make up for his loss to Big Daddy Walter with a THRIVE main event win.

    The opening contest saw Kongo Kong and Bárbaro Cavernario (ignore my previous misspelling) defeat Jushin Thunder Liger and David Finlay. The wild men ran rampant over their opponents after Liger severely underestimated them, seeming amused when he should have been scared. After the match, David Finlay was noticeably disappointed with the result...

    "The Last Real Man" Silas Young defeated "Speedball" Mike Bailey to win the first Round 3 match in Tokyo. He would later complain about being mistaken for "The Last Real Babysitter" and demand actual competition. The Japanese crowd booed Silas as he continued to attack Bailey after the contest was finished.

    Catch Point was represented by Drew Gulak and Matt Riddle in a losing effort to Yuji Nagata and Kazushi Sakuraba, when Nagata pinned Gulak with the Backdrop Hold at 15 minutes, 37 seconds. Following the match, there was a face-to-face confrontation between Riddle and Sakuraba...

    Our second Round 3 match in Tokyo (#10/12) saw Brian Cage defeating Kamaitachi in 16 minutes, 52 seconds, with a big Discus Lariat. And in the sub-main event, a reunited 'Speed Muscle' defeated Monster Mafia, though it was clear some tension lingers between Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi.

    The main event of Night 1 saw interference from BUSHI give Tetsuya Naito the win over Ricochet at 15 minutes, 28 seconds. Naito took to the microphone afterwards to let fans know that he'll be main eventing tomorrow's contest, too, even after being disqualified from the Worldwide 96 - because he's that damn good. If there were any fans among those in attendance who disagreed, they certainly were not vocal about it.

    Night 2 began with Matt Riddle defeating Kazushi Sakuraba with a submission in 11 minutes, 14 seconds, shocking MMA enthusiasts in Japan and the world over. THRIVE fans continue to debate whether it was Kazushi Sakuraba's aging or Riddle's incredible momentum of late that helped him scored the victory.

    In Night 2's first Round 3 match, Akira Tozawa pinned Matt Sydal with the Bridging Delayed German Suplex in 13 minutes, 36 seconds. This would be Matt Sydal's last match in THRIVE before his... extended hiatus.

    The last Round 3 in match Tokyo saw Minoru Suzuki getting the win over King Cuerno with his Gotch-Style Piledriver. It's worth noting that Suzuki confidently dismissed his Suzuki-gun army prior to the match start. This ended up being one of the most violent matches in THRIVE so far. And you can be damn sure the crowd sang "Kaze Ni Nare."

    The team of Taiji Ishimori & ACH scored a victory over the Motor City Machine Guns after a miscue from MCMG allowed Ishimori and ACH to drop Alex Shelley with a Double Cradle DDT at 14 minutes, 47 seconds. Everyone was very cordial with one another following the match but Sabin looked pissed off on their way backstage...

    The sub-main event saw Katsuyori Shibata defeating Tommy End with the PK at 10 minutes, 20 seconds, in a grueling battle that almost never slowed down. Both men looked dead afterwards and were covered in ice packs, courtesy of young boys. That last sentence is going to be really weird for anyone unfamiliar with puroresu.

    The main event saw Tetsuya Naito defeat surprise opponent Kurt Angle! Prior to the match, Kurt Angle challenged Naito to prove he's Japan's next big star and show the world he can win without any help, like illustrious Japanese legends Inoki, Misawa, and Yoshihiko, among others. Of course, Naito didn't give a shit, and a run-in from Rush saw the "Stardust Genius" picking up the win with Destino at 13 minutes, 50 seconds.

    List of Matches and Finishes:
    Spoiler:

    London Calling : Night One
    01 | Zack Sabre Jr. defeats BUSHI via submission with the New School Armbreaker (10:52)
    02 | Will Ospreay defeats Adam Page via disqualification (15:32)
    London Calling : Night Two
    03 | Big Daddy Walter defeats Ricochet via countout (10:14)
    04 | Adam Cole defeats Marty Scurll via pinfall with the Panama Sunrise (13:44)
    California Dreaming : Night One
    05 | Pentagon Jr. defeats Michael Bennett via pinfall with the Package Piledriver (13:39)
    06 | Michael Elgin defeats Johnny Mundo via pinfall with the Elgin Bomb (13:30)
    California Dreaming : Night Two
    07 | Sanada defeats Donovan Dijak via submission with the Skull End (13:02)
    08 | Jeff Cobb defeats Kyle O'Reilly via pinfall with Tour of the Islands (22:16)
    Tokyo Rising : Night One
    09 | Silas Young defeats Speedball Mike Bailey via pinfall with Pee Gee Waja Plunge (16:24)
    10 | Brian Cage defeats Kamaitachi via pinfall with the Discus Lariat (16:52)
    Tokyo Rising : Night Two
    11 | Akira Tozawa defeats Matt Sydal via pinfall with the Bridging Delayed German Suplex (13:36)
    12 | Minoru Suzuki defeats King Cuerno via pinfall with the Gotch-Style Piledriver (18:06)


    Round 4 was live from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and hosted by Joey Styles with commentary from Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino. Whereas the London, Tokyo, and L.A. shows had titles like 'Tokyo Rising' and 'London Calling,' this was simply called Round 4. The two-night event featured 3 tournament bouts per night for a total of six Worldwide 96 matches, along with a few other contests. The total time for Round 4 matches came out to 1 hour, 36 minutes, 52 seconds, with an average of ~16 minutes per match.

    Night 1 began with a six-man tag team match, featuring Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil, Rush, and BUSHI) against CMLL's Volador Jr., Hechicero, and Dragon Lee. It was a real slobberknocker, but before we could determine a winner, the match was interrupted by the arrival of Jimmy Havoc and his henchmen (a group comprised of some lesser-knowns from the UK scene).

    They attacked all the wrestlers (especially Worldwide 96 participant Sanada) before Havoc took to the microphone to declare themselves A Greater Europe (A.G.E. for short). He lambasted Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables for being cancerous n.W.o. knockoffs and promised change like he's Barack Obama. Whether or not he will bring about true 'change' remains to be seen.

    Following the raucous start to our show, Jeff Cobb scored an upset victory over Minoru Suzuki, defeating the Japanese brute in 15 minutes, 27 seconds, to advance to the Worldwide 96 semi-finals. Prior to the match, Minoru instructed Suzuki-gun to stay ringside but not interfere. Perhaps Havoc's already having an effect...

    After that, an injured Sanada was forced into submission by Zack Sabre Jr. in 9 minutes, 3 seconds, after Sabre Jr. targeted the arm that 'A Greater Europe' had gone after earlier in the evening. Sabre Jr. joins Jeff Cobb in the semi-finals of the Worldwide 96 but he couldn't have been proud about how it went down. Unless, of course, he was in on it...

    Paul London picked up a win over The Space Monkey, a local Canadian wrestler who was given the opportunity of his lifetime after Brian Kendrick no-showed the event. An irate London left the ring before he could snap and take out his frustrations on Space Monkey. Styles tried to get comments from London following the bout but London ignored him and left.

    In six-man tag team action, it was Roppongi Vice and DUSTIN picking up a win over TimeSplitters and Chris Sabin. The finish came when Sabin's tag to KUSHIDA went unnoticed by the referee (due to RPG Vice distraction) and Sabin wound up on the receiving end of Chuck Tay-... I mean... DUSTIN's 'Awful Waffle' at 13 minutes, 10 seconds. This was similar to the outcome of the Motor City Machine Guns' Tokyo match against ACH and Taiji Ishimori, this time with Sabin missing the tag instead of Shelley. Rather than taking blame or gaining empathy from experiencing a similar mishap, Sabin deflects blame to KUSHIDA and goes off on him. He was eventually calmed down by Shelley, but something tells me this conflict isn't over by a longshot. Also I'm the booker so I know these kinds of things.

    The last Worldwide 96 match of Night 1 saw "The Last Real Man" Silas Young defeating Canada's own Michael Elgin. Silas had complained about his previous opponents being a joke. After requesting a challenge, Young was paired off with "Big Mike," and resorted to cheating to escape with a victory. The Canadian crowd was as polite as they could be in telling Silas to go fuck himself afterwards.

    Night 1's main event saw "Speedball" Mike Bailey, Kyle O'Reilly, and Bobby Fish emerging victorious against Jack Evans, Angelico, and Johnny Mundo. Prior to the match, Jack Evans graced us with his "unmatched and severely underrated promo skills," as he put it, calling Bailey out for his filthy fucking feet and laying into the Canadian crowd for merely existing. His last words were "poutine is shit." The finish saw Evans taking Chasing the Dragon (Redragon's brainbuster/roundhouse kick combo) and then getting pinned beneath Mike Bailey's 'dirty little foot.'

    Night 2 kicked off with one of our explosive fatal four-ways, this one seeing Fenix defeat Kamaitachi, Willie Mack, and "The Hangman" Adam Page. Page was desperate to score a win here and it showed, as he accidentally rushed into a Spanish Fly that gave Fenix the win at 11 minutes, 15 seconds.

    In Night 2's first Worldwide 96 bout (#4/6 for Round 4), Brian Cage absolutely destroyed Will Ospreay after Ospreay attempted his predictable jumping corkscrew roundhouse and was intercepted by a nasty lariat from Cage. Cage had been playing possum, showing he's got brains in addition to his braun, before finishing Ospreay off with a brutal vertical suplex piledriver (ouch) at 13 minutes, 21 seconds. Ospreay had previously turned down an offer of assistance from Jimmy Havoc, and one has to wonder if he's regretting that decision now.

    Paul London was back again the next night, this time for a tag team contest. His surprise partner ended up being none other than The Space Monkey, who he had defeated the night before. The Space Monkey was all smiles, as this would be the biggest booking of his career to this point, but London was fucking livid. They were defeated by the team of Low Ki and Evil Uno, who were also victorious at California Dreaming Night Two.

    In our second Worldwide 96 contest of the evening (#5/6) the ever-exciting Akira Tozawa fell to Pentagon Jr.'s Package Piledriver, in a match that lasted 17 minutes, 3 seconds. Pentagon respectfully left soon after the match so that Tozawa could get his "indy goodbye" from the fans at ringside, complete with "Thank You Tozawa" and "You Deserve It!" chants.

    CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada) were victorious against the team of War Machine (Raymond Rowe & Hanson) and Death By Elbow (Chris Hero & JT Dunn). It was as hard-hitting as they come and left many fans wanting more as YOSHI-HASHI won with Karma (pumphandle half nelson driver) at 14 minutes, 22 seconds. Kazuchika Okada's “Rainmaker” got a big pop and the IWGP Champion really impressed in his THRIVE debut. The New Japan wrestlers showed great cohesiveness, whereas their opponents' camaraderie left a lot to be desired.

    After the contest, there was a bit of tension between the losing tag teams. Out of nowhere, Hero hit Hanson with a discus roundhouse kick before JT Dunn dropped Rowe with a rolling elbow. Death By Elbow left their partners lying on the mat as they walked out to a mixed reaction. A match between both teams has been scheduled for our next show.

    The very last Worldwide 96 match to this point saw Adam Cole stealing the win from Big Daddy Walter, after surviving 20 minutes and sending the match into SUDDEN DEATH. After it became a Sudden Deathmatch, the Bullet Club went all-in on slaying the giant. This prompted the appearance of 'A Greater Europe,' led by Jimmy Havoc, to not only even the score but actually outnumber the Bullet Club. However, it was the emergence of Los Ingobernables, looking for payback for Sanada's arm, that leveled the playing field.

    In all of the chaos, hardly anybody noticed a man with a black jacket, baseball bat, and skull mask entering the ring. Commentary thought it was Sanada returning to avenge his loss the night before, but the man revealed himself to be "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes, who struck Big Daddy Walter in the back of the knees with his baseball bat and cut the big man down to size. From there, it was a tandem baseball bat to the back of the head with a triple superkick from Cole and the Young Bucks that allowed Adam Cole to secure a victory.

    In the sub-main event of the evening, The Alpha Female scored a win over Gail Kim before getting on the microphone to issue a challenge to Evie. That challenge has been accepted and we will be getting Evie/Alpha II at our next event.

    In a main event that was promoted as 'Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks vs. Tyson Dux and Monster Mafia,' Kenny Omega came out to betray his people, disparage Canada, and announce Cody Rhodes as his replacement. "The American Nightmare" and the Young Bucks won after the Bucks hit their Meltzer Driver (you know what it is). The Bullet Club was noticeably less obnoxious after the match, choosing to keep an eye out for Jimmy Havoc's boys rather than celebrate as the show came to a close.

    List of Matches and Finishes:
    Spoiler:

    Round 4 : Night One
    01 | Jeff Cobb defeats Minoru Suzuki via pinfall with Tour of the Islands (15:27)
    02 | Zack Sabre Jr. defeats Sanada via submission with the Cross Armbreaker (09:03)
    03 | Silas Young defeats Michael Elgin via pinfall with the Pee Gee Waja Plunge (18:49)
    Round 4 : Night Two
    04 | Brian Cage defeats Will Ospreay via pinfall with the Vertical Suplex Piledriver (13:21)
    05 | Pentagon Jr. defeats Akira Tozawa via pinfall with the Package Piledriver (17:03)
    06 | Adam Cole defeats Big Daddy Walter via pinfall after interference (23:09)


    After a whopping 17 hours, 10 minutes, and 39 seconds of pro wrestling action (not counting non-tournament bouts) we are ready for the semi-finals of the Worldwide 96 tournament. Pentagon Jr. will be facing Silas Young, Adam Cole will be facing Jeff Cobb, and Zack Sabre Jr. will be facing Brian Cage for a spot in the main event triple threat match to determine our first THRIVE World Champion.



    Pentagon Jr. | Tijuana, Mexico | 5'11” 215 lbs.
    Round 1 | Defeated Bobby Fish via pinfall with the Pentagon Driver (08:37)
    Round 2 | Defeated Trevor Lee via pinfall with the Pentagon Driver (15:30)
    Round 3 | Defeated Michael Bennett via pinfall with the Fear Factor (13:39)
    Round 4 | Defeated Akira Tozawa via pinfall with the Fear Factor (17:03)

    Pentagon Jr. wrestles for AAA in Mexico, Lucha Underground in USA, and a slew of independent promotions the world over. He is a former AAW Heavyweight Champion and former Gift of the Gods Champion in Lucha Underground. A win for Pentagon Jr. would elevate the rising star immensely. He has been World Tag Team and World Mixed Tag Team Champion in AAA, but has yet to win a singles World Championship. Will THRIVE's be his first?

    His wins over Bobby Fish and Trevor Lee were impressive but the real challenge came when Pentagon Jr. needed to defeat not only Michael Bennett, but his wife Maria as well. Succeeding where both Katsuyori Shibata and Matt Riddle had previously failed, Pentagon Jr. was able to overcome the couple's shenanigans and drop "The Miracle" on his head with a package piledriver that Pentagon calls the "Fear Factor."

    Pentagon Jr. and many Lucha Underground stars have been finding a lot of success in the United States and overseas for companies like RevPro in England. Fellow semi-finalist Jeff Cobb also portrays a character in Lucha Underground as the masked 'Matanza Cueto.' Pentagon Jr. winning the tournament would go a long way towards cementing Lucha Underground as home to some of the best wrestling in the world.

    His last win in the tournament was against Akira Tozawa, extinguishing Japan's hope of having a finalist in the Worldwide 96. He's gone further than other luchadors such as Rush, Volador Jr., Dragon Lee, and his real-life brother Fenix, but at Trifecta he faces someone who may be his toughest opponent yet: "The Last Real Man" Silas Young. This will be a first time meeting between the two.

    Silas Young | Milwaukee, Wisconsin | 5'11” 209 lbs.
    Round 1 | Defeated Mark Coffey via pinfall after Misery (11:21)
    Round 2 | Defeated Ryusuke Taguchi via pinfall after Misery (12:25)
    Round 3 | Defeated Speedball Mike Bailey via pinfall with Pee Gee Waja Plunge (16:24)
    Round 4 | Defeated Michael Elgin via pinfall with the Pee Gee Waja Plunge (18:49)

    Silas Young is signed to Ring of Honor and works many independent promotions on the side. He calls himself "The Last Real Man," as he feels society is shifting toward a 'sissy state,' and spends much of his time complaining about all that's wrong with the world. A win for Silas would be an incredible boon to his career, as he has yet to win a championship in Ring of Honor. The closest he's come is winning the 2016 Tag Wars Tournament with The Beer City Bruiser.

    Whereas Pentagon Jr. has been AAW Heavyweight Champion once, Silas Young has been AAW Heavyweight champion twice - in addition to holding their Heritage Championship. Taking Pentagon's Gift of the Gods Championship and AAA World Tag reigns into consideration, these two are on a pretty even playing field. It's anyone's guess what will happen when they face off at Trifecta.

    Silas has been using... let's call them "questionable tactics" throughout the tournament. In the first round, Silas started to pull off a turnbuckle pad and when the referee went to re-secure the padding, Silas kicked his opponent below the belt to steal the win. After his match with Ryusuke Taguchi in the second round, he sat "The Funky Weapon" up just to slap the taste out of Taguchi's mouth. In round 3, Silas played possum to duck a "Speedball" Mike Bailey roundhouse kick before hitting Misery (TKO). During the pin attempt, Silas picked young Bailey's head off the mat to break the count, dragged "Speedball" toward the corner, and hit his Pee Gee Waja Plunge. He later complained about having to babysit his opponent.

    After Young complained about being given 'joke' opponents, he was paired against "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin in the fourth round. Rather than prove he was up to the challenge, Silas took the easy way out, again messing up the turnbuckle pad in the corner to distract the referee, and then using a handful of powder to blind "Big Mike." This level of deviousness is nothing new in professional wrestling but one has to wonder how effective it will be against an opponent like Pentagon Jr., a competitor who can play just as dirty and be just as sadistic as "The Last Real Man."



    Adam Cole | Panama City, Florida | 5'11” 210 lbs.
    Round 1 | Defeated Mikey Whiplash via pinfall with the Florida Key (13:36)
    Round 2 | Defeated Josh Alexander via pinfall with the Florida Key (08:20)
    Round 3 | Defeated Marty Scurll via pinfall with the Panama Sunrise (13:44)
    Round 4 | Defeated Big Daddy Walter via pinfall after interference (23:09)

    Adam Cole (baybay!) wrestles for Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He represents The Bullet Club throughout the world and is a member of the very exclusive 'Mount Rushmore of Wrestling' in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Winning the tournament would do a lot to make up for Cole recently losing the ROH World Championship to Kyle O'Reilly. Cole is a 2-time former ROH World Champion and 1-time PWG World Champion. He's also won the World-1 Shinya Hashimoto Memorial Cup in 2010, CZW Best of the Best X in 2011, and PWG Battle of Los Angeles in 2012 along with numerous championships across the United States.

    Cole's been working in New Japan as a member of the Bullet Club, and a THRIVE World Championship could be just what he needs to really establish himself on a global level. He is the only Bullet Club member left in the Worldwide 96; Tama Tonga was eliminated by Low Ki in the first round and "The Hangman" Adam Page lost to Will Ospreay via disqualification during round three. The disqualification occurred after Cole pulled the referee out of the ring to save Page from a pinfall. The referee gave the DQ win to Ospreay almost immediately. Page was noticeably upset at the result but the issue seems mostly resolved...

    This will be a first time meeting between Adam Cole and Jeff Cobb. It was speculated by many that we would see this match in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla before the year was through but instead it will be going down live in Madison Square Garden. Having held a World Championship three times in the past, Cole is no stranger to success on the highest level, but he is a stranger to his opponent, "Mr. Athletic" Jeff Cobb.

    It's also worth noting that Cobb defeated Kyle O'Reilly in round 3, so if Cole can secure the win here, he would be succeeding where O'Reilly has recently failed, giving Cole even more precedent for a ROH World Championship rematch in the future. As of this writing, Cole and O'Reilly are scheduled to meet at New Japan's Wrestling Kingdom 11 in a singles match for the ROH Championship. If Cole wins the THRIVE World Championship first, could this contest become Title vs Title?

    Jeff Cobb | Honolulu, Hawaii | 5'10” 263 lbs.
    Round 1 | Defeated Shelton Benjamin via pinfall with a Tour of the Islands (15:13)
    Round 2 | Defeated Tomohiro Ishii via pinfall after a Tour of the Islands (06:39)
    Round 3 | Defeated Kyle O'Reilly via pinfall with Tour of the Islands (22:16)
    Round 4 | Defeated Minoru Suzuki via pinfall with Tour of the Islands (15:27)

    Jeff Cobb wrestles for Lucha Underground as 'Matanza' and competes under his real name on the independent circuit. He represented Guam in amateur wrestling at the 2004 Summer Olympics before transitioning to pro wrestling in '09. A win for "Mr. Athletic" would be tremendous. A previous Lucha Underground Champion as 'Matanza,' Cobb is no stranger to success. However, having won the championship in only his first match, there are some that would consider his a fluke victory. He remained champion for 119 days but has yet to regain the title.

    If he can overcome Adam Cole here, this will be his first major championship win as himself. The Hawaii-born athlete has had impressive showings over the course of the tournament, with wins over some of the best wrestlers on the planet. In the first round, he took Shelton Benjamin to his limit, and scored an upset that had the wrestling world buzzing. The match may have contributed to an injury that has kept "The Gold Standard" from making his WWE return as it was reportedly a very stiff affair. Let's hope Cobb brings that level of intensity to Trifecta, where he may be taking on The Bullet Club as well if the match goes into Sudden Death...

    Cobb is no stranger to our 'Sudden Deathmatch' philosophy, as he and Kyle O'Reilly went past the twenty-minute mark in Round 3. However, rather than using the abolition of rules to his advantage as Adam Cole did in Round 4, Cobb and O'Reilly continued to wrestle a respectful style until Cobb was ultimately victorious. This is not just a first time match between Cole and Cobb, it is also the first match between two men who have won Sudden Deathmatches in THRIVE.



    Zack Sabre Jr. | Isle of Sheppey, England | 6'0” 181 lbs.
    Round 1 | Defeated PJ Black via submission with the New School Armbreaker (09:32)
    Round 2 | Defeated JT Dunn via submission with the New School Armbreaker (08:52)
    Round 3 | Defeated BUSHI via submission with the New School Armbreaker (10:52)
    Round 4 | Defeated Sanada via submission with the New School Armbreaker (09:03)

    Zack Sabre Jr. wrestles all over the independent circuit and is currently Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Champion. It's no secret that Zack is constantly praised as one of the best wrestlers in the world and the PWG World Championship is highly regarded among independent wrestling enthusiasts. A win for Zack Sabre Jr. here would do a lot to cement his legacy as one of the best wrestlers never signed by WWE.

    Having recently performed in WWE's Cruiserweight Classic, there was a lot of talk that Sabre Jr. was certain to be snatched up, but as of yet, no deal has been signed and it does not appear that one will be signed in the foreseeable future. Sources close to Zack say he has had mixed feelings about the experience and may have turned down an offer, but the reason for this is unknown.

    Zack is a former 'Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion' for Japan's DDT Pro Wrestling and 2-time former GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion in Pro Wrestling NOAH. Zack's the current PWG World Champion and winner of the PWG Battle of Los Angeles in 2015. He's also held numerous titles across Europe, including the RPW British Heavyweight Championship and numerous Westside Xtreme Wrestling Championships in Germany, where he is the WXW 16 Carat Gold Tournament winner of 2016. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter named Zack Sabre Jr. the 'Best Technical Wrestler' in 2014 and 2015, but has yet to announce their pick for 2016. Could it be him?

    Speaking of speculation, the recently formed 'Greater Europe' has made their support of Zack Sabre Jr. known. Whether or not they will make themselves a factor in this match remains to be seen, but if Sabre Jr. is able to advanced to the finals, he will find himself in a triple threat from which there are no disqualifications. If this is to happen, it is widely speculated that Jimmy Havoc and his merry men will make their presence known. Sabre Jr. denies all ties and any involvement to the group, insisting that he had nothing to do with their attack on Sanada in Round 4, despite benefitting from it greatly.



    Brian Cage | Sacramento, California | 6'0” 250 lbs.
    Round 1 | Defeated Mark Briscoe via pinfall after Weapon X (05:10)
    Round 2 | Defeated Dave Mastiff via pinfall after a Discus Lariat (08:39)
    Round 3 | Defeated Kamaitachi via pinfall with the Discus Lariat (16:52)
    Round 4 | Defeated Will Ospreay via pinfall with the Vertical Suplex Piledriver (13:21)

    Brian Cage wrestles for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Lucha Underground in the USA, and AAA in Mexico. He is known as "Mr. GMSI" (Get-My-Shit-In), "The Swolverine," and "The Machine," among other nicknames. The 250-pounder is a specimen of inhuman strength (and steroids, obviously) that is seemingly larger each time we see him. He's the same height as his opponent but roughly 70 pounds heavier. Deceptively bulky, Cage is known for incorporating an unexpectedly high-risk offensive and is, for all intents and purposes, a 'flashier' wrestler than "Technical Wizard" Zack Sabre Jr.

    The two were partners in a 6-man tag team match at the WrestleCon SuperShow 2016 but have never faced one another in singles competition until now. Unlike his opponent, Brian Cage has been signed to WWE in the past. Cage was a developmental wrestler competing under the name 'Kris Logan,' with Kris being an homage to his trainer Chris Kanyon (RIP) and Logan being reference to his looking like Wolverine (Cage's sideburn game is unmatched). He became FCW Florida Tag Team Champions with Justin Gabriel (aka PJ Black), who Zack Sabre Jr. actually defeated in round 1 of the Worldwide 96 (small world!).

    Cage has been a former DDT Pro 'Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion' like Zack Sabre Jr., a former Lucha Underground 'Gift of the Gods' Champion like Pentagon Jr., and a former PWG World Tag Team Champion with "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin, who was eliminted from the tournament at Round 4. Becoming the first ever THRIVE World Champion would elevate Brian Cage to the top tier of independent wrestling, where he has long felt he deserves to be.



    The Worldwide 96 tournament will conclude with semi-finals and finals taking place live at Trifecta, coming to you from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Stay tuned...
    Last edited by The Natural; 12-28-2016 at 10:54 AM.

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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    I'm really excited for the ending of the tournament as to who, out of the 96 competitors, will win and what will happen with THRIVE onwards. Will we get this tournament next year? Or is this tournament too lofty and just a one time deal.

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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    RHYNO'S TOP O' THE PAGE REVIEW


    I'm incredibly impressed by the width and depth of this project. The catch-up post was an excellent tool in reeling in first time readers that may be intimidated by the afore mentioned depth. I'm not as familiar with Indy and Lucha wrestling so the short bios were a huge help in establishing the characters and "getting a face with a name".

    The creativity involved in this is incredible. Tying in multiple angles and factions across various world-wide organizations has been pulled off flawlessly. I also enjoy your occasional snide humor. It breaks up the monotony and keep readers aware. A lot of people don't use it correctly by trying to turn themselves the star of their BTB. You use it as a good way to add levity and keep readers from zoning out.

    I'm really interested in Silas Young vs. Pentagon the most, but introducing me to guys like Brian Cage and "The Natural Athlete" have peaked my interest in their matches as well.

    Your non-tournament matches are very well booked and don't feel like throw-aways. Looking forward to read this in the future as it progresses.



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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    Just read through all of this (on-and-off between finishing my own writing) today and I have to say that what you have managed to put together is truly a game changer in regards how to present an Indie/Puro project and it is without a doubt one of the best I have ever read. (Expect some in depth feedback when your next show drops). The presentation of the project as well as the match-making is just terrific and I really take my hat off to you sir. It isn't often my kid brother recommends a decent read, but this was certainly one of those times.
    The BTB Section Only Improves If We All Improve Together.
    I am willing to review your work as much as I can and if you ask nicely I will even make graphics for you. Be The Booker 4 Life!

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    Trifecta

    This was meant to be posted before New Year's, as the last show of 2016. But it wasn't. So chronologically, let's pretend this happened on the night of Sunday, January 1, 2017, and marks your first big wrestling event of the new year, with New Japan's Wrestle Kingdom 11 coming a few days later...


    We get a nice establishing shot of the arena filling and the ring crew finishing up before going backstage to our host with the most, Joey Styles. Joey welcomes us to Trifecta, live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. His appearance on the big screen gets a pop you can hear on-camera all the way in the back. In just a moment, he says, we'll be jumping straight into the action with our first 'Worldwide 96 semi-finals match' of the evening.

    But before all that, Joey wants to show us that THRIVE isn't just about giving people the best wrestling from all around the world. He leads us to a mountain of toys in the front lobby where we collected donations to Toys-For-Tots from fans attending the event. Behind the pile of goodies is an enlarged check for a reasonable amount of money from THRIVE management towards children's cancer research.

    That's not all, Joey tells us. He waves security aside and opens one of the doors to the locker room area, and we see it's almost entirely filled with people coming and going. It's mostly people in their street clothes but there are a few wrestlers with gear visible.

    As Joey and the cameraman make their way through the sea of people, we begin to see their faces - they're wrestlers from the area who have been invited to the show: Dalton Castle, Bull James a.k.a. Bull Dempsey, Tommy Dreamer, Bubba Ray Dudley, Shad Gaspard, JTG, Homicide, Sabu, Tazz, Colin Delaney, Kenny King, "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams, Mikey Whipwreck, Matt Striker, Will Ferrara, Braxton Sutter aka Pepper Parks, Bobby Fish, and more.

    Most have a plate of food in one hand and a craft brew or cocktail in the other. It's a feast. Styles tells the viewers at home that THRIVE is getting tremendous support from audiences, sponsors, and even the wrestlers themselves, as everyone sees what a great opportunity this presents to do something fun for a good cause (and a lot of this talent wants "in"). Styles is essentially yelling over the ruckus, and motions to the cameraman to follow him somewhere more quiet.

    Styles tries to find an empty room so he can finish his introduction, but when he opens the first door he sees, he finds himself getting stared down by A Greater Europe: there's Jimmy Havoc, Rampage Brown, Iestyn Rees, and more. Rampage Brown closes the door in Joey's face, but those with a keen eye are able to spot "The Villain" Marty Scurll sitting among them before the door slams shut...

    Joey turns back to the camera and shrugs. He continues yelling as he thanks fans from all over the world for tuning in to see the culmination of the Worldwide 96 tournament before introducing our commentary team for the evening: the returning Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino. Then he excuses himself to grab a plate of food before it's all gone.

    Kevin Kelly: Happy New Year, everyone! We're pleased to be here tonight in New York City, where we are set to crown the first ever THRIVE World Champion!

    Steve Corino: And we'll probably witness a murder!

    Kevin Kelly looks baffled by Corino's comment.

    Kevin Kelly: I know New York has a reputation but-

    Steve Corino: I'm talking about Evie versus The Alpha Female, Kevin. You can have your worldwide tournament, I'll take the blood bath!

    Kevin Kelly: Well, that's certainly going to be a physical match but let's focus on the tournament for the moment, Steve, because we're about to see the first semi-final match. All of the semi-finals are first time encounters, so who knows what could happen tonight!

    Steve Corino: That's fine. We can talk about whatever you want. I just hope we have a few body bags on hand...

    Kevin looks like he wants to ignore this but instead obliges Steve.

    Kevin Kelly: Why a few?

    Steve Corino: Because Alpha Female's going to tear that little girl to pieces. Seriously, can we fake a Zimmerman Note and get the Armed Guard in here? This isn't fair!

    Kevin Kelly: Be that as it may, Steve, we have to look at what's directly ahead of us and that is a singles match, scheduled for one fall, between Pentagon Jr. and Silas Young.

    Corino reels it in a little and begins to look serious as he contemplates the match-up.

    Steve Corino: This is a tough one for me, Kevin. I have all the faith in the world in Silas Young, and when he wants something done, he does it. But I've seen Pentagon Jr.'s work and he's the kind of diabolical that scares even me. I can't predict this.

    The always-lovely Melissa Santos explains the stipulations for the following three Worldwide 96 semi-final matches and their implications for the main event triple threat match to determine our first World Champion. Then she introduces the participants in our opening contest.






    “The Last Real Man” Silas Young is announced as representing the United States of America but he would be the first to tell you this country's turned into a 'nation of pussies.' Out next is Pentagon Jr. who is announced as representing Mexico. Pentagon Jr. nods at Melissa Santos as he gets in. A snarling Silas Young nods at Pentagon Jr. from across the ring and Pentagon Jr. calmly responds with the 'cero miedo' taunt as the bell rings. They go to lock up and Silas boots Pentagon in the gut.

    This is a war from the word 'go' and both men are fighting like there's a personal vendetta here, despite never facing one another before this moment. The action goes inside and outside of the ring without ever slowing down. These two are tearing each other apart and Steve Corino is loving it. Kevin is concerned that wrestling at such a brutal pace may not be a good idea, given that there is still the triple threat main event to worry about.

    Kevin Kelly: Pentagon Jr.'s targeting the arm and keeps going back to it. You can tell he's really studied his opponent. If he's successful in rendering Young's arm unusable, that takes away "The Last Real Man's" ability to lift his opponent for Misery, or balance himself for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge!

    Steve Corino: And you can tell Silas Young didn't study Pentagon Jr., because he still showed up tonight!

    Young takes Pentagon down with a wicked lariat that looks like it hurt him a little bit as well... Silas takes this opportunity to perform his 'unlacing the turnbuckle' trick and the referee falls for it. Silas grabs a handful of powder from a bag in his trunks and blows it into Pentagon's eyes as the referee is distracted with the dislodged turnbuckle pad.

    Pentagon winces in pain with his eyes closed before returning the favor, giving Silas a faceful of red mist! The crowd pops hard. Both men are temporarily blinded. They feel around for one another and start brawling. This moves into the corner as the referee finally realizes what's going on and stops messing with the turnbuckle to break it up.

    Steve Corino: A referee's job is hard enough without BULLSHIT like this!

    Kevin Kelly: I didn't know you cared so much about referees, Steve.

    Steve Corino: I don't, Kevin, but cursing in wrestling never fails to amuse me so I figured I would get one in while...

    Kevin puts a hand on Corino's shoulder.

    Kevin Kelly: Well, shit.

    Corino smiles.

    Pentagon Jr., still blinded, manages to get behind Silas and attempt a German suplex but Silas holds onto the top rope. Silas feels around and grabs hold of the referee's shirt (he knows it's the referee because Pentagon is grabbing him from behind). Silas pulls on the referee's shirt and uses it to wipe the mist out of his eyes - but what he's really doing is getting in the referee's face so the referee can't see him kick backwards to low blow Pentagon Jr.

    The crowd boos loudly as Silas turns and sees Pentagon doubled over. Silas puts the boots to Pentagon Jr. as he struggles to get the mist out of his eyes. Silas drags Pentagon over to the corner for his Pee Gee Waja Plunge. The crowd is booing hard now. They don't want it to end like this.

    Silas grabs hold of the ropes and then balances himself on his head in the corner - but the turnbuckle pad isn't secured and it slips out from underneath him! Silas loses his balance and crashes to the outside floor. The booing stops, replaced by gasps. There's genuine concern for Silas' well-being.

    The referee begins his count as Pentagon Jr. is showing signs of life post-low-blow. Pentagon Jr. is rubbing his eyes and it's clear the powder still has him blinded. “Nine!” The crowd was silent after Silas fell, but as he begins to stand up on the outside, there's a small pop out of sheer relief. “Ten!” Pentagon hears the fans' tone change and remains completely still, like a snake scanning for movement.

    The referee starts to count "eleven!," but stops suddenly as Silas Young slides into the ring a few feet away from Pentagon. Pentagon hears the referee stop counting abruptly, senses the motion of Silas Young sliding in, and then dives onto Young before "The Last Real Man" can stand up. Pentagon Jr. destroys Silas' arm with The Sacrifice (grounded hammerlock inverted armbreaker) and Silas immediately taps out before Pentagon takes his arm off at 12:54.

    Kevin Kelly: In a match that never slowed down, between two men who gave it their all, Pentagon Jr. wins with a submission out of nowhere!

    Steve Corino: Please don't show a replay. That was just gross.

    They show a replay anyway, and we see Pentagon pull Silas' arm backwards at such a speed that Corino has to look away. Pentagon holds it there for barely a second before Silas is tapping out from the pain.

    Kevin Kelly: That's the first time we've seen Pentagon Jr. use The Sacrifice in THRIVE, Steve.

    Steve Corino: And let's hope it's the last!

    Corino has his hands over his eyes and is peeking through his fingers to make sure the replay is finished. When Pentagon Jr. gets backstage following his win, he is greeted by Joey Styles, who was waiting to interview the winner about advancing to the finals of the Worldwide 96. Standing next to Styles is an intern who speaks Spanish, ready to translate.

    Joey Styles: Pentagon, you just had a remarkable battle with "The Last Real Man" Silas Young and now you are one of three finalists with a chance to become the first THRIVE World Champion. You had previously defeated Bobby Fish, Michael Bennett, and Akira Tozawa to get to this point and now you're one match away from winning the whole thing. How does it feel?

    The intern translates this to Pentagon Jr. who merely stares at Joey Styles for a few moments before uttering a one-word response.

    Pentagon Jr.: ...Bien.

    Pentagon Jr. then stares silently at Styles for an awkward amount of time. Styles looks for guidance off camera but just rolls with it.

    Joey Styles: Ok... you must be feeling a range of emotions right now but it's important to keep your head in the game. You're not known for a strict adherence to the rulebook but tonight's triple threat match is 'no disqualification' by default. What's your strategy going into a match that favors your 'anything goes' style against not one, but two opponents?

    The intern translates this. Pentagon Jr. is still looking at Styles, silently. This goes on for a few seconds. Styles looks away from his gaze for a moment, hoping Pentagon Jr. will fill the silence with an answer, but he doesn't. Styles brings the microphone to his face to continue speaking, but Pentagon interrupts him, shouting-

    Pentagon Jr.: CERO MIEDO!

    Pentagon Jr. does the 'Cero Miedo' hand gesture simultaneously and then walks away.

    Joey Styles: ...there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Pentagon Jr. is your first potential THRIVE World Champion. Still to come, singles matches to determine our last two finalists, as well as tag team and women's grudge matches! Don't go anywhere!

    A short video package plays, introducing the 'Limited Edition Worldwide 96 T-Shirt,' featuring the THRIVE and Worldwide 96 logos. The back features an over-crowded bracket system with brackets leading to three individual spots, currently blank. Once the event has concluded, the rest of the names will be filled in and the finalized shirts will be signed by the tournament winner. There are only 96 of these shirts being produced and sold, with all profits going to charity.

    Kevin Kelly: Folks, coming up it's a man who can also twist your arm out of shape in Zack Sabre Jr., against a man whose arm is the size of Zack Sabre Jr. in Brian Cage! Both men stand at 6 feet tall, Steve, but Brian Cage boasts 70 more pounds of pure muscle.

    Steve Corino: Well, I don't know that I would call it pure muscle, but... I'm excited all the same.

    Kevin shoots Steve a glance out of the corner of his eye.

    Steve Corino: I'm sure this is going to be great... really... but I was hoping we might see Zack Sabre Jr. against Adam Cole one more time, so we could finally get Bullet Club and Greater Europe in a match together.

    Kevin Kelly: Are you saying you think Zack is in on it?

    Steve Corino: Is that even a question? Of course he is. This is his evil faction phase. I've been there, Kevin. I know. You reach the top of the world on the indies and you are known as the greatest professional in the world for a few years running like he and I, you start to get a little jaded after a while. Totally understandable.

    Kevin just looks at him for a little while with a slight smile on his face.

    Kevin Kelly: I'm going to miss you when you're gone.

    Steve Corino: What's that supposed to mean?






    “The Machine” Brian Cage is introduced as representing the United States of America, and his cocky demeanor on the way to the ring suggests that's an accurate description. His opponent, “Technical Wizard” Zack Sabre Jr. is announced as representing England, but he still manages to get a louder reaction in New York than Cage. Cage was cocky on his way to the ring, almost laughing at the size discrepancy between he and Sabre Jr., but once the audience made it clear that Sabre Jr.'s their boy, Cage got serious.

    This one starts off in Cage's favor, with “Mr. GMSI” making Sabre Jr. look like a ragdoll with his power moves and displays of obscene strength. However, Sabre Jr. is kicking out of everything at 1. Cage tries to mask his frustration but it's becoming clear that he is getting annoyed with the “Technical Wizard's” resilience. Cage tries to get a “U-S-A!” chant going but most of the New York crowd isn't backing him. They boo and then start chanting “Z-S-J! Z-S-J!” instead. Zack was seeing stars but once he's able to shake them off and get his head back in the game, he manages to start countering Cage's offense.

    Some of the counters are causing Cage to hurt himself, like hopping over a spear so that Cage slams his shoulder into the ringpost. Others are simply making Cage look like a fool, such as pulling the ropes down while ducking a clothesline and watching the bulky Cage tumble to the outside. Brian Cage is absolutely livid now. He storms back into the ring but Sabre Jr. isn't intimidated. Zack jumps onto Cage in a move that looks like a fox attacking a bear, somehow managing to keep Cage grounded with various submission maneuvers.

    The purpose is two-fold: Zack wants to wear down Cage's enormous limbs but also allow Cage to tire himself out as he escapes one hold only to find himself in another. Zack keeps this up as the audience is chanting for Cage to tap out. This only serves to get Cage angrier, and at his boiling point, he manages to stand with Sabre Jr. still applying a hold on top of him. Cage slams himself backward and Sabre Jr. gets crushed in the corner. The “Technical Wizard” is on dream street as he takes a few steps away from the turnbuckle before collapsing.

    Cage managed to end Sabre Jr.'s ground-game domination but looks to have exhausted himself in doing so. Cage looks gassed. A recovering Zack Sabre Jr. is beginning to stand in the center of the ring and he's facing the other way entirely. Cage spins around for the Discus Lariat at the same moment that Zack Sabre Jr. turns around, and Zack Sabre Jr. counters the lariat, flipping Cage over for the New School Armbreaker! Kevin Kelly yells “this is why it pays to scout your opponents!” Cage fights the submission attempt longer than any one of Sabre Jr.'s four Worldwide 96 opponents so far, but suffers the same fate as the rest, tapping out and giving Sabre Jr. passage to the main event at 14:19. Cage looks irate but leaves without incident as ZSJ celebrates the win.

    Backstage, Zack is greeted by Joey Styles, who was waiting to interview the winner.

    Joey Styles: Zack, first off I want to say congratulations on your win.

    Zack nods to acknowledge the praise, still breathing heavily and sweating profusely.

    Joey Styles: There were many, myself included, who thought Brian Cage's size advantage might be too much to overcome, but you did what you always do and defied expectations to secure a spot in the finals. What was your strategy in there?

    Sabre Jr. searches for the right words as he finishes catching his breath.

    Zack Sabre Jr.: Guys like Cage put a bit too much emphasis on 'looking the part,' y'know? You've gotta 'walk the walk,' as they say. Knowing Cage didn't exactly take the natural approach to his physique, the strategy was simple: stretch his inflated limbs every which way and hope he chokes on all that muscle. ...I suppose it worked.

    Joey Styles: A damning indictment of supernatural mass if I've ever heard one.

    Zack Sabre Jr.: Muscles are great, Joey, but real or fake, it doesn't matter; they get too big and they can become limitations. I've had people knock me plenty about being too thin, but it's my thin frame that allows me to pretzel people the way that I do. If I was tripping over my muscles the whole time, I wouldn't be half as technical as I am. I couldn't be.

    Joey Styles: I keep telling my wife the same thing.

    Zack Sabre Jr.: And how's that working out for you?

    They chuckle for a moment.

    Joey Styles: Zack, we already know one of your opponents will be Pentagon Jr., and the other could be either Adam Cole or Jeff Cobb. What are your thoughts as you prepare for tonight's main event?

    Zack Sabre Jr.: Just keep my head in the game, try not to psyche myself out too much with all that Bullet Club and Greater Europe nonsense, and focus on what really matters. Triple threats are interesting for submission specialists because you have to work on twice as many limbs while factoring in that there's a very good chance a move that would otherwise end the match will be interrupted. Then you factor in 'no disqualifications,' and that complicates things a bit. But I'm ready.

    Joey Styles: Any comment on that Bullet Club, Greater Europe stuff? The fans are dying to know-

    Zack Sabre Jr.: I'll tell you and the fans the same thing I told Jimmy Havoc. I'm not interested in faction warfare, or "the greater good," or any of that mess. I am here to win a title, add another accomplishment to my Wikipedia, and put on a good show for everyone watching. The rest is noise and I don't hear it.

    Joey Styles: Alright Zack, fair enough. Thank you for your time.

    Zack Sabre Jr.: Thank you Joey.

    Sabre Jr. walks off and Styles' eyes get slightly smaller, as though he doesn't really trust what Zack just told him. Commentary begins to discuss whether or not Zack is telling the truth about a potential allegiance to Jimmy Havoc as we prepare for our last semi-finals match. Kelly notes that we are two-for-two on matches without interference so far, but this one might be the game changer.






    It's the last of three first-time matches that comprise our semi-final round and the fans are deservedly hyped. Jeff Cobb is out to a good ovation, announced as representing the United States of America. Adam Cole gets an even better reaction, including a very loud "BAYBAY!" after his name is called.

    The announcer begins to tell us that Adam Cole is representing the United States, but is cut off by Cole halfway through. Adam whispers something into the announcer's ear, and the announcer corrects himself, instead introducing Adam Cole as representing The Bullet Club. This gets a really big pop. Cole is flanked by B.C. members Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Adam Page, and The Young Bucks - who will all be traveling together for Wrestle Kingdom 11 in a few days.

    Despite the sea of Bullet Club t-shirts in the crowd, the audience seems to be supporting both men equally, chanting "BOTH THESE GUYS!" as the referee checks Cole's gear for foreign objects and then rings the bell. Cobb rushes to the center of the ring for a lock-up but Cole casually dips out of the ring and smiles at the crowd. Cobb doesn't take the bait, staying inside and letting the referee count. You know Cole was planning to cheap shot Cobb because he looks disappointed when Cobb doesn't follow. Commentary wonders if "Mr. Athletic" watched Cole's match against Big Daddy Walter to avoid the same mistakes.

    When they finally clash in the ring, Cole finds himself easily overpowered by the former Olympian. He makes good use of rope-breaks and does everything in his power to avoid Cobb's fury. It works for a little while, but once Cobb gets ahold of him, Adam Cole gets tossed around the ring like a ragdoll. This goes on for some time.

    Cole looks like one of those kids who insists on getting on a ride that's too big for him and then suddenly regrets it once the ride picks up speed. He takes a variety of suplexes as his Bullet Club brethren wince. Cole is noticeably flustered when he hits a desperation dropkick to Cobb's knees and takes the bigger man off his feet. Adam Cole looks over to Nick Jackson and nods.

    Cole goes for a superkick, but the leg he's standing on gives out beneath him. He topples over, clutching his knee in agony. Cobb looks like a shark who smells blood and rushes over to take advantage but Cole calls out to the official and the referee gets in Cobb's way. Jeff Cobb knows it's most likely an act and tries to continue his assault on Cole with stomps.

    This causes the Bullet Club to jump in to stop him, urging the referee to keep Cobb back or disqualify him. The referee turns and directs his focus to controlling Cobb, yelling at him to stay back for a moment. This gives Adam Cole the five-or-so seconds he needs to obtain a small-yet-thick steel plate and load his knee pad while Nick Jackson does his best to block the camera. Enough is seen so that the crowd at home knows Cole is up to no good.

    The referee returns and chats with Cole for a bit, asking Adam Cole if he wants to forfeit. Cole feigns a pained look and shakes his head in faux-bravery. Adam Cole gets to his feet with a pained look on his face, but once he's fully upright, he looks directly at his opponent and smiles. Cobb curses under his breath for a moment because he knew it was bullshit and then charges at Cole.

    Cole catches Cobb in a small package but “Mr. Athletic” kicks out before the referee can even count 1. A spry Cole gets to his feet first and surprises Cobb with a shining wizard before he can stand up. But this was no ordinary shining wizard. It was a shining wizard wearing full plate armor!

    Cobb is knocked loopy and it looks like the blow has taken nearly all the fight out of him! Adam Cole braces himself before lifting the heavy Hawaiian for a brainbuster-onto-the-knee. But this was no ordinary... you get the idea. Cobb is staring at the ceiling as the referee counts to 3 and Adam Cole advances to the Worldwide 96 finals at 09:42.

    The Bullet Club celebrates and puts Cole on their shoulders, but nobody is happier than Steve Corino, who sounds like a schoolgirl as he squeals with glee for "The Panama City Playboy." Cobb is still seeing stars as the referee explains that the match is over. Adam Cole and his group head backstage to meet with Joey Styles.

    Joey Styles: Well, congratulations. Good to see your leg isn't too banged up.

    Adam Cole: I don't like your tone. That's no way to talk to the next World-

    Joey Styles: You want my respect, after what you just pulled?

    Adam Cole: I saw the first match tonight, Joey. Young and Pentagon cheated like they were wrestling for AshleyMadison.com.

    Joey Styles: Your opponent didn't cheat.

    Adam Cole: He didn't win, either.

    Joey Styles: Be that as it may, you still have a match against Pentagon and Zack Sabre Jr. later this evening. Aren't you at all afraid that your brash demeanor will paint a target on your back? Your chances are slim enough in a triple threat without turning it into a 2-on-1.

    Adam Cole: 2-on-1? Where did you learn to count, Joey? Because by my count, there's six of us-

    Cole is pointing to the Bullet Club behind him when suddenly, Jimmy Havoc and 'A Greater Europe' walk up behind Joey Styles. Joey turns around, bumping into Rampage Brown. Rampage snarls at him and Styles takes his cue to leave. This leaves Jimmy Havoc and Adam Cole some room to have a chat.

    Jimmy Havoc: Adam.

    Adam Cole: Jimmy.

    Jimmy Havoc: Congratulations on your win. You know if it had been you and Zack in that match, and you did what you did with the fake injury, we'd have made sure it was real.

    The Young Bucks feign fright, murmuring "ooooooooooo" behind Cole.

    Adam Cole: Who? The jobber parade?

    Rampage Brown and a few others take obvious offense to this, but Jimmy puts his arm up, gesturing for them to 'stand down.'

    Jimmy Havoc: These aren't-... these are gentlemen. And if you think I've got all my cards on the table, then I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you.

    Adam Cole: A Wade Barrett reference? Is that supposed to scare me?

    Jimmy Havoc: Nah, that was just me having fun. He's supposed to scare you.

    The Bullet Club turns to see Mikey Whiplash standing behind them with a chain in one hand, and a lead pipe in the other. They flinch at the sudden sight of him. Cole especially, as he remembers stealing a win from Whiplash when they clashed in Round 1 of the Worldwide 96 tournament. Whiplash has been waiting for his revenge.

    Jimmy Havoc: Don't worry, Adam. You won't have to deal with us tonight... unless your men get involved in the main event.

    Cole looks at Havoc, then back to Whiplash, then back to Havoc.

    Jimmy Havoc: Do we understand one another?

    Cole nods.

    Jimmy Havoc: I'm afraid I didn't hear you.

    Cole looks past Havoc to the imposing men standing behind him.

    Adam Cole: ...

    Cody Rhodes looks like he wants to say something, but Omega puts a hand on his shoulder. Rhodes looks over at Kenny who shakes his head 'no.' Rhodes looks back at Havoc and Cole hashing things out. Havoc is looking straight into Cole's eyes as he waits for an answer. Cole looks up from the ground to meet Havoc's gaze.

    Adam Cole: ...Yes.

    Havoc and his men leave as the Bullet Club talk amongst themselves. Cole, however, is silent. The Young Bucks are discussing how many superkicks they're going to give Havoc and his men. Cody, “Hangman” Page, and Omega are speculating about whether or not Zack Sabre Jr. is 'Greater Europe.' And Adam Cole is silent.




    This one starts before the referee is able to get the 'illegal men' into their corners, and resembles more of a tornado tag team match at first. The guys are brawling all over the arena and knocking over a lot of chairs in the process. Eventually things end up in the ring and the referee is able to take control. The bell finally rings about three minutes after the action's started.

    This one's relentlessly violent, with Hero targeting Hanson and JT Dunn going after Raymond Rowe. The strikes are stiff and the slams are strong, but what really stands out about this match is how, despite being the aggressors following their match in Toronto, Death By Elbow is on the defensive for most of the match. War Machine is controlling things, but not just through sheer force – they are employing more heelish tactics than usual.

    The finish comes when Hero goes for a discus big boot on Hanson, but Hanson grabs the referee by the shirt and pulls him into Hero's flight path. “The Knockout Artist” blasts the referee and sends him down to the mat in a heap. Not a second later, Rowe boots JT Dunn off the apron. Hero apologizes to the referee before turning to brawl with Hanson. Rowe blasts Hero in the back of the neck with a forearm, and then War Machine hits The Eliminators' old 'Total Elimination.' (spinning heel kick/leg sweep combo).

    Hanson lifts the referee up by the shirt and gets him to a semi-standing position before joining Rowe to hit their finisher on Chris Hero. Hanson ascends to the top turnbuckle as Rowe lifts the large Chris Hero for a back suplex. They hit a big Fallout and the referee counts three, declaring War Machine your winners at 11:02. Actual match length was around fourteen minutes with the brawling on the outside prior to the bell ringing.

    On their way backstage, Joey Styles tries to stop them for comments. Both men keep on walking, with Rowe telling Styles to “fuck off.” Styles looks at the camera without saying a word and we head back to ringside. Kelly and Corino are stunned, claiming they've never seen this side of War Machine. Corino wants to see more of it. Before they can discuss the tag team encounter any further, Kelly lets us know it's time for Alpha Female vs Evie II.




    Evie has the New York crowd behind her for this David and Goliath story. She's picking her spots and making them count but The Alpha Female is a behemoth. Evie takes a lot of punishment. She manages to get some well-placed kicks in that daze Alpha but the match is decidedly in her opponent's favor.

    The finish comes when Evie starts mounting the most offense she's gotten in the entire match. Evie hits a number of brutal kicks, including a few to the back of Alpha's head, but Alpha takes enough to fill her rage meter, no-sells a kick to her neck while she's kneeling, stands up, and chokeslams Evie hard into the mat. She picks Evie up again and chokeslams her once more.

    Alpha Female pins Evie in dominant fashion, pushing her face to the mat with one hand and hooking her leg with the other. The referee counts to 3 and it's mercifully over at 10:22. The referee puts himself between Evie and The Alpha Female, pleading with Alpha to leave the ring. Alpha smirks at the destruction she wrought and exits. The referee helps Evie up and she has trouble standing afterwards, grabbing the ropes and really selling the two chokeslams from Alpha Female.

    Following the contest, Evie receives “you deserve it” and “thank you Evie” chants. She gets on the microphone to tell the New York crowd that while she wasn't triumphant, she really appreciates their support as she says farewell to the indies and prepares for a career with WWE. She starts to put over women's wrestling, Shimmer and SHINE and some other companies, but is knocked on her ass by The Alpha Female, who had re-entered the ring without Evie noticing.

    The crowd boos as Alpha Female unleashes a vicious assault on Evie, powerbombing her into the turnbuckle and then choke-slamming her again in the center of the ring. The Alpha Female picks up the microphone that Evie dropped and, in broken English, tells the New York crowd to fuck themselves. She goes on to say that women's wrestling is about more than who is going to lose to Asuka this week. Women's wrestling is about more than how many times Charlotte and Sasha can trade a title back-and-forth. Or who's appearing next on Total Divas.

    The world of women's wrestling, Alpha says, relies upon the women who are showcasing it throughout the world to remain loyal. And people like Evie are traitors to the cause. That's why today she vows to stand up for women's wrestling and stand up against those who would weaken it by joining 'the enemy.' There's a ”shut the fuck up” chant growing quickly. Alpha replies, “no, you shut the fuck up!” That actually gets some cheers. Then Alpha looks towards the hard camera and says: “...I accept.”

    She exits the ring and leaves commentary wondering what she meant. Did someone challenge her? Corino wants to talk about it further but Kelly presses him for time.

    Kevin Kelly: I'm sorry, Steve, but we've got two matches remaining.

    Steve Corino: But the implications, Kevin Kelly. The implications!

    Kelly lets fans know that the next match is a special surprise for those tuning in to watch live. As part of THRIVE's commitment to providing the unexpected, a first time encounter has been booked between two high-profile stars... but before we can see the match, we get word that there has been an altercation backstage. We head to the locker room area where Joey Styles is waiting to fill us in. Medical staff goes rushing by behind him.

    Joey Styles: As you can see behind me, medical personnel is dealing with the situation already, but there has been some sort of incident backstage involving War Machine and Death By Elbow.

    The camera pans over to the carnage and we can see a large crowd gathering, including pro wrestlers that were invited to the show and their guests. Eventually we are able to see that both tag teams are laid out and there has been some blood spilled.

    Kevin Kelly: What in the world-

    Joey Styles: Exactly what went down, we don't know. But what's clear is that these men require immediate medical attention. I know Chris Hero and JT Dunn could not have been happy about the outcome to their tag team match tonight, but this...

    Steve Corino: ...looks like a quadruple homicide.

    Joey Styles: It's possible that they did this to each other, but you may be onto something Steve...

    Kevin Kelly: Alright Joey, well, keep us posted. I'd love to know more about what's going on but we have a tight schedule.

    Melissa Santos enters the ring to announce the next match and her eyes widen when she sees the names she's supposed to announce. This one was a surprise even to her.




    The commentary team is joined by Rockstar Spud, who has been suspiciously absent since appearing for THRIVE's London-based shows. He and Corino are going ape over the unannounced 'surprise' match-up we're about to see. Kevin tries to ask Spud about what happened to him and Grado, but Spud redirects the subject to El Patron's appearance as the Mexican star makes his way to the ring. Alberto has some bruises and cuts on his face/arms, leading Kevin Kelly to explain to the fans at home that Alberto was reportedly in an altercation outside of wrestling over the weekend. They wonder what, if any effect, that will have on his performance tonight.

    But if Alberto El Patron's ability to wrestle was hindered by his injuries, you wouldn't know it. The former WWE star puts on a great show, playing the default face to a very-heel Suzuki. Suzuki-gun is absent for this contest, prompting commentary to talk about their fate following Suzuki's departure from NOAH. Their discussion is interrupted by the action spilling to the outside.

    Suzuki and El Patron make liberal use of the 20 count to brawl all over the ringside area. Suzuki rolls in to reset the count, and then back out to continue the onslaught. Some of Alberto's cuts have opened up and there's a little bit of blood. Suzuki uses it to paint solid lines under his eyes, like he's a football player or something. The crowd pops for it.

    The finish comes Minoru Suzuki tries for his finisher too early and El Patron counters Suzuki's Gotch-Style Piledriver with a back body drop... but Minoru hangs on! Before Minoru can try to turn this into a sunset flip of sorts, Alberto drives Minoru straight down on his head with a modified Air Raid Crash. Suzuki is shaken, and receives a Superkick from El Patron before he can get to his feet.

    Undeterred, Suzuki tries to stand again and eats another Superkick! Steve Corino is screaming for the kicks, each time louder than before. Suzuki shows tremendous endurance as he begins to get up again, but this time he's got a little less life in him. Alberto El Patron lights him up with one last Superkick before getting the pinfall victory at 13:11. Corino couldn't be happier.

    El Patron celebrates with the fans at ringside as Minoru Suzuki just lays there, looking at the ceiling. There's a small "El Patron!" chant as Alberto makes his way backstage.

    Kevin Kelly: Well there's no Young Bucks on the card tonight, but you still got your Superkicks. How's that for a late Christmas gift?

    Steve Corino: Incredible! Gracias, Alberto, and Feliz Navidad!

    Rockstar Spud: And we've still got one more present for you.

    Steve Corino: What's that?

    Rockstar Spud: Consider it a parting gift for the road ahead...

    Kelly and Corino look at Spud incredulously.

    Rockstar Spud: C'mon Steve. After what happened to Evie, and Rowe, and Hero tonight... you didn't think you'd be getting off easy, did you?

    Corino is about to respond when a fist comes out of nowhere, smashes into his face, and knocks him out of his chair. It belongs to Rampage Jackson, who is joined by Havoc and several more 'A Greater Europe' goons. They start putting the boots to Corino as Kevin Kelly shouts in protest. Spud's positioned between Kevin Kelly and the beat down, advising Kelly not to get involved.

    Kevin Kelly: This isn't right!

    Havoc casually lifts Corino's headset off the ground and puts it on.

    Jimmy Havoc: I'm afraid I disagree.

    Kevin Kelly: Tell your men to stop! Corino signing with another company has nothing to do with you!


    Jimmy Havoc: Few months ago, you would have been right in saying that, Kevin. But I look at everyone they've been signing lately, especially with their new UK tournament... things have changed.

    Corino is really getting worked over, and after some time, you can see that he's been busted open. You didn't think Corino was going to leave the indies without doing one last blade job, did you? The fans are booing wildly.

    Jimmy Havoc: They want to weaken European wrestling and say they're doing it for a good cause? Fine. They can consider this my response.

    On Jimmy's cue, the A.G.E. guys get Corino into position a few feet away, and then execute the SHIELD Three-Man Powerbomb through the timekeeper's table. Kevin Kelly's audio is muffled for a moment, as he covers his microphone while yelling for security to intervene. The cameraman cautiously approaches the wrecked table bits with a bloodied Steve Corino draped over them.

    Jimmy Havoc: See? Now THIS is when fans should be chanting "you deserve it!"

    Kevin Kelly is furious. Security arrives quickly, but the damage is already done.

    Jimmy Havoc: We've got a parting gift for you too, Kevin.

    Kevin Kelly looks all around him, as though expecting a punch from Rampage Jackson or one of Havoc's other goons.

    Jimmy Havoc: Relax.

    Kelly tries to do as he is instructed, but is obviously still very panicked.

    Jimmy Havoc: My gift to you is this: a promise... that if anyone interferes in tonight's main event...

    Havoc gets uncomfortably close to Kevin Kelly for his next words.

    Jimmy Havoc: ...I'll kill 'em myself.

    Havoc takes off the headset and drops it onto the table. Spud half-heartedly apologizes to the global audience for their interruption before taking off his headset and leaving with Havoc and company. Kevin's audio is restored but he doesn't say anything of substance for a good minute or two while ringside officials are checking on Corino. The wrestling veteran is taken out on a stretcher as Kevin tries to collect himself.

    Kevin Kelly: Well, ladies and gentlemen, as much as I'd like to hop into the ambulance and ride to the hospital with my colleague, 'the show must go on' and the action isn't going to call itself. My god...

    Kevin's voice sounds very somber at first, but as he goes on, it gets a little closer to standard Kevin Kelly commentary. We get a glimpse backstage, where Zack Sabre Jr. is stretching out before his match. Elsewhere, Pentagon Jr. is sitting and meditating. Finally, we come to Adam Cole, who sits silently. He's still stewing over Havoc's earlier comments about what would happen if the Bullet Club gets involved in the main event. There's a concerned look on his face.

    Adam Cole: Fuck them.

    Behind him, Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks were having a conversation. They all stop and turn to Cole.

    Adam Cole: Nobody tells me how to wrestle.

    Cody Rhodes: (under his breath) ...until you get to the Performance Center...

    Cole pretends not to hear Cody's comment.

    Adam Cole: We'll do whatever the hell we want... we're the fucking Bullet Club.

    Cody raises a finger.

    Cody Rhodes: I'm sorry, Adam, but I need to interject here. I'm not 'afraid' of those Europeans by any stretch of the imagination – BUT - we've all got matches at Wrestle Kingdom...

    Adam Cole: Yeah? So do I...

    Cody Rhodes: Right, right. Sure.

    Adam Cole: ...for the ROH World Championship.

    Cody Rhodes: Yeah, no, I get that. You've got a World Championship match and I've got Juice Robinson.... It may not be much, but I've got something to prove in the Tokyo Dome. I don't need a war with Jimmy Havoc messing that up. You have a stake in this worldwide tournament thing, but... we don't.

    Cole's about to retort but Nick speaks up first.

    Nick Jackson: Don't take this the wrong way. We love you, Adam.

    Matt Jackson: But pay is pay. And if we can't wrestle, we can't make that sweet yen, baybay.

    Kenny Omega: Yeah, no offense, Adam. All for one and all that, but this is going to be the biggest match of my career and I can't risk showing up less than 100%. You saw what they did to Sanada...

    Adam Cole: You guys are really spooked by them?

    Nobody wants to answer, and Adam isn't about to let there be another awkward silence.

    Adam Cole: You don't want to help me tonight? That's fine-

    Matt Jackson: Of course we want to help you, man.

    Kenny Omega: And it's not about being spooked – Cody's right, we don't need a war tonight.

    Nick Jackson: Besides, dude, you beat Cobb on your own.

    Everyone looks at Nick, puzzled.

    Nick Jackson: Well, like, the Bullet Club version of 'on your own.' We didn't superkick him once.

    Matt Jackson: That's true, Adam. We didn't even have to superkick him.

    Adam Cole: Ok guys. You stay back here where it's nice and safe. Make yourselves comfortable, have some hot cocoa with the little marshmallows. I'm going to go out there and represent The Bullet Club like the best damn wrestler in the world should.

    The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega look at each other, like one of them should say something. Instead, it's Adam Page who finally speaks up.

    Adam Page: Good luck.

    Cole starts to turn away before he suddenly stops. Rather than directly addressing any of them, he looks off to the side and says...

    Adam Cole: This one's for Corino.

    Adam Cole looks confident as he walks away. When we return to the ring, Melissa Santos is standing in the center and we are ready for our main event. We get a quick video preview of the finalists (Sabre Jr., Pentagon Jr., and Cole) and their Worldwide 96 wins that brought them to this point, before Santos does introductions; Pentagon Jr. representing Mexico, Zack Sabre Jr. representing England, and Adam Cole representing The Bullet Club.











    Before the match can begin, Adam Cole's knee-pads are double- and triple-checked for foreign objects. Cole protests, calling it "discrimination," and demanding that they check Pentagon Jr's mouth for 'mist' capsules if they're going to be so thorough about it. He badgers the referee until the ref is forced to don latex gloves like someone's been busted open, and go digging. Pentagon refuses at first, but the referee insists.

    The referee begins to slowly, cautiously probe the inside of Pentagon Jr's mouth, afraid the luchador might bite his fingers off. Adam Cole uses the distraction to superkick Zack Sabre Jr. before the match has even started. Sabre Jr. is caught off guard and hits the mat instantly. Kevin Kelly laments that his partner couldn't be here to enjoy it. The referee quickly removes his fingers from Pentagon Jr.'s mouth and calls for the match to begin. The bell rings, and this one's on.

    Pentagon starts brawling with Adam Cole as a dazed Zack Sabre Jr. recovers on the outside. Cole continues fighting dirty, blatantly poking Pentagon in the eyes. Kelly reminds viewers that in a triple threat, there's nothing the referee can do about it. Adam Cole throws Pentagon Jr. through the middle ropes and Pentagon crashes down onto Zack Sabre Jr. Both men hit the floor as Adam Cole turns to the hard camera and raises two fingers on each hand. The crowd erupts, saying it with him: ADAM COLE, BAYBAY!!

    Pentagon gets up, still slightly blinded in one of his eyes. He uses his good eye to wink at Zack Sabre Jr. They enter the ring together and Cole realizes he's about to be double-teamed. He pleads with them for a moment before they are on him like a pack of dogs. Cole gets the ever-loving shit kicked out of him for a solid few minutes. Of course, at the next available opportunity, Pentagon Jr. ends their truce and takes the fight to Zack Sabre Jr.

    They have a vicious enough brawl that Adam Cole is no longer considered their de facto target. The three men continue fighting and give us a match that goes outside the ring a few times but stays on the canvas for the most part. There are many near falls but each time, someone manages to kickout or break the pin.

    At one point, it looks like Zack Sabre Jr. has the match won with the New School Armbreaker (cross armbreaker) on Pentagon Jr., but Adam Cole pulls the referee out of the ring before Pentagon Jr. can submit. Zack lets go of the hold looking very frustrated. A little later, Sabre Jr. has Cole in the same submission hold, but this time it's Pentagon Jr. who saves the match by hitting a running dropkick on the referee! The crowd pops for that.

    Kevin Kelly speculates that Pentagon could have just as easily dropkicked Zack Sabre Jr. to break the hold, but then again, Zack Sabre Jr. didn't put his fingers in Pentagon's mouth at the start of the match. Sabre Jr. keeps Cole in the New School Armbreaker and Cole is tapping out, but there's no referee to see it! "The Technical Wizard" refuses to relinquish the hold, until Pentagon Jr. comes out of nowhere with a standing double stomp to Sabre Jr.'s chest.

    A steel chair is introduced by Adam Cole, who appears to be favoring the arm that was in Sabre Jr.'s finisher for so long. Cole fumbles with it but eventually manages to wedge it into the corner. Cole tries to irish whip Pentagon Jr. into the wedged chair, but underestimates the damage to his arm. Pentagon Jr. reverses with ease and sends Cole crashing into the steel chair head first. Adam Cole's head hits the chair with so much force that it echoes throughout the arena, the chair is bent, and this will wind up leaving a nasty bump on Cole's forehead (see: Wrestle Kingdom 11).

    Everyone's fighting like their life is on the line and the closing stretch is what kids these days might call "LIT." The red mist that the referee didn't find in Pentagon's mouth earlier finally comes into play when Pentagon Jr. tries to spray Adam Cole in the face, but Cole ducks and Sabre Jr. gets hit. Cole manages to hit Pentagon Jr. with a superkick and then follow up with the Florida Key (straightjacket german suplex) but Pentagon kicks out. Kevin Kelly wonders whether Pentagon had energy in reserve for the kickout, or if Cole's arm didn't have the strength to keep him held in place for the pinfall.

    Sabre Jr.'s vision is still obscured from Pentagon's mist but he manages to grab Cole by the hair. Cole kicks back instinctively and hits Sabre Jr. with a low blow. With Pentagon Jr. still lying on the mat, and Sabre Jr. doubled over from the low blow, Adam Cole hops onto the corner and makes a 'gun' gesture pointed at Zack.

    Cole hops off the turnbuckle and then hits Zack Sabre Jr. with the Panama Sunrise (front-flip piledriver), but the second they land, Pentagon Jr. is ready with a superkick to the side of Adam Cole's head. Pentagon uses the momentum of a rolling Zack Sabre Jr. to get him back to his feet quickly and then plants him with the Fear Factor (package piledriver).

    The referee counts 1...2... Adam Cole makes one last, desperate attempt to throw himself at the pin and break it up. Pentagon Jr. sees him coming and quickly releases Sabre Jr.! Adam Cole crashes into Zack Sabre Jr. and is now face down on the mat. Pentagon wastes no time, diving onto Cole's damaged arm and executing The Sacrifice (grounded hammerlock inverted armbreaker) before Cole's even realized what's happened. Zack Sabre Jr. is right there but there's no time to break it up as Pentagon wrenches back on the limb. Adam Cole taps out almost instantly and Pentagon Jr. becomes the first THRIVE World Champion at 18:04!

    Sabre Jr. is in disbelief, still wiping the mist out of his eyes when Pentagon's hand is raised. Cole rolls to the outside and clutches his arm in agony. He's soon joined by The Bullet Club, who must have been waiting at the gorilla position for a celebration. They all look a bit deflated. Melissa Santos presents Pentagon Jr. with the THRIVE World Championship and a kiss on the cheek. Pentagon struggles to smile for her momentarily before going back to wincing and selling the brutal match they just had.

    Kevin Kelly: My goodness. We just witnessed the culmination of the Worldwide 96 tournament, where 96 professional wrestlers from across the world competed for a chance to main event tonight's show and walk home with a big prize. It's been quite a night here at THRIVE Pro Wrestling and I want to thank you all for tuning in.

    Kelly looks a bit upset.

    Kevin Kelly: It's a shame my colleague was not here to watch it, but he'd be happy to know he didn't have to see Pentagon snap another arm off with that Sacrifice of his. And despite my feelings towards Jimmy Havoc, he guaranteed us a main event without interference and he kept his word... what a match that was. Ladies and gentlemen, your THRIVE World Champion, Pentagon Jr.

    Fenix rolls into the ring wearing street clothes (and his mask, of course). The brothers hug one another and exchange a few words before Pentagon Jr. turns to face the hard camera. He raises the THRIVE World Championship high into the air as the first big event of 2017 comes to an end.


    With Trifecta finished, THRIVE will be moving toward a more traditional format involving a series of smaller shows leading up to a bigger event, not unlike NXT and TakeOver. And before that, we'll be getting a post-Trifecta edition of 'THRIVEcast,' although appearances for the podcast have not yet been confirmed.

    Props to Gambit for being correct with all of his predictions!!! I was so surprised when I read that post. To answer your question, Gambit: the Worldwide 96 is probably too much to do every year, and may serve better as "that giant fucking tournament that started everything." I wouldn't be opposed to paying tribute to it with something smaller, though, like a Worldwide 24 that's similar to PWG's Battle of Los Angeles.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading and commenting. If you haven't commented yet, or haven't done so in a while, please do and let me know that you're still reading. I'd love to know what you've enjoyed, what you didn't, and what your hopes are for THRIVE's future. Stay tuned...

  18. #78
    Russo Knows Best!

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    IndyPuro Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3



    A Comprehensive Review

    I really enjoyed the way in which you began the evening with Styles. It has a nice touch to it, whilst also bring a different element to the beginning of a wrestling show. It interesting on the basis that it isn't generic filler, and that every thing that is being put forward has a clear purpose and a clear message...for us as an audience to THRIVE! The separation between the normal people and The Greater Europe is also vitally important and reminds me of some great outside of the arena segments that the WWF used to treat us to once upon a time.

    Kelly and Corino for me are one of the most dynamic duo in pro-wrestling, and if Vince McMahon ever had some common sense he would have tried to bring the pair in as part of the WWE Universe a good while ago. I love the use of pair in the build up, and as is often the case with commentary use people use the characters as a figure head only. For you though I actually feel like I am reading a transcript of what Kelly and Corino would actually be saying if this was a real event. (IT IS REAL TO US DAMMIT!)

    The first match between Silas and Pentagon Jr. is a great match for a number of different reasons. For me Silas is one of the most underestimated and underrated guys in the industry at this point in time, and wouldn't go amiss if he found himself as part of the NXT roster in real life. A lot of people at the same time would probably fall for the hype of Pentagon, although from the way in which you have put over both men in the project so far you have presented them in such a positive way that I struggle in deciding who would be a better winner. In terms of dynamic story-telling Pentagon Jr probably offers a better end result in a long-term. Working away from my outside perceptions though, the contest was a really good read and you worked the reader with some great action. Pentagon looks really strong with the way in which he won, and for him to be using The Sacrifice for the first time makes the submission that much more of a big deal. The post match interview with Joey was on point, and I sit here writing this already thirsting for "CERO MIEDO!" to possibly reach the top of the mountain later on tonight.

    96 exclusive shirts is a really nice touch, part of me wishes this was a real promotion. I think I would actually wear one, but I'd try and get it for free.

    The second match between Zack Sabre Jr. and Brian Cage personally is something I would love to see, and I won't lie in hiding my bias and favouritism for ZSJ. The match was another great read and their was a really intensity to it, although I always felt that you were leading us towards a Zack victory. For the second semi-final match to end with another technical submission move, creates a final where the 66% of the people involved with have a well rounded move arsenal going into what will be a life defining match for whoever wins the tournament. The Zack interview also aids in the storytelling of 96 and with the third match just around the corner I can't wait to see who out of Cobb and Cole.

    With Cobb vs. Cole and AC winning the match was an expected conclusion. Mixed in with the Bullet Club and then Jimmy Havoc, the overall mixture of all of the ingredients means that tonight's final has a whole new element to it. Of course an element that we could have predicted as a possible occurrence for tonight's main-event showdown. In all honest though, ADAM COLE BAYBAY is a welcomed addition as the final man in what is no doubt going to be a great finish to the 96.

    War Machine vs. Death By Elbow acts as a great match to follow the semis. The match makes War Machine a really powerful force in Thrive and the more I read about your version of them in this project, the more I can't wait to see more of what they have to offer in your project in future editions of the project.

    Alpha Female vs. Evie is just a complete game changer for me. As a I reader you are left wondering if what Alpha was saying was a shoot or a work but either way it really adds an intensity to her character but also legitimises Alpha's commitment to the indie/puro scene. It made me ponder what it would be like if you put on a tournament for the female wrestlers, and if you did would Alpha be someone that could end up taking the crown of a similar tournament. I can't wait to see how all of this is going to develop.

    Patron vs. Suzuki is something that really confirms why your are such a great booker and why your project is one of the best in the section. The match was really great to read, although I wouldn't have minded if it was a bit longer (not that it had to be). The follow up of Havoc and Co. attacking Corino just adds more fuel to the fire as the shows is slowly reaching it conclusion. Corino being seriously hurt and Havoc cutting a great interview style promo between himself, Kevin Kelly and the audience is more effective than any video build up package.

    Adam Cole and the Bullet Club presents a last moment of clarity before he impending storm that will be tonight's grand finale. I loved the honesty felt by the rest of the Bullet Club clearly putting WrestleKingdom ahead of tonight's show and who can really blame them. I just really enjoy that you have blended fantasy with reality that just makes your project so much more appealing. And as I start scrolling down we are so close to tonight's final.

    Pentagon Jr. vs. ZSJ vs. Adam Cole is on the cards and in all honestly having read your project this is one of the matches I have most looked forward too whilst being part of a BTB community. The match was an absolute delight to read from start to finish, and even though we are at the start of 2017 I am going to have to note this down as a potential MOTY candidate when it comes to the end of the year awards. Pentagon Jr. as the champion is great because it gives us an overall winner of the contest, whilst at the same time creates a separation between Havoc and the Bullet Club meaning that the rivalry can be continued without a definite roadblock of the 96. If either ZSJ or Cole had won the on-going rivalry would no doubt take away from that fact and the tournament would lose a bit of prestige because of the storyline.

    I really enjoyed reading this dude, and reading it in the hear in and now is always that little bit more enjoying.

    The BTB Section Only Improves If We All Improve Together.
    I am willing to review your work as much as I can and if you ask nicely I will even make graphics for you. Be The Booker 4 Life!

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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    The post match speech with Pentagon Jr was hilarious and so in his character. In real life, Joey Styles’ facial expressions would be phenomenal. The mis match between Cage and Sabre had me a bit worried, but the Technical Wizard managed to pull it off. it’s brilliant how Sabre used the fact that Cage is a muscled up monster of man to his advantage, for he would get tired easily. Also a scathing shoot from Sabre. Cole wins. I’m 3 for 3 on my Semi Finals Predictions. I love how Cole wouldn’t back down because he thought he had backup, but Bullet Club is shaken by A Greater Europe and want to achieve their personal success. War Machine was the logical choice because (for me) they are the more familiar tag team. The Alpha Female decimates the promising Evie. Finally, the three way was beautifully written. I love the referee being frightened to even check Pentagon’s mouth for mist capsules. He’s portrayed as the sadistic man we all love. This match could have gone either of the three men’s way, but given Pentagon was highlighted so much in the match I had my suspicion he would take it all and he isn’t a bad choice either. In my opinion, he’s one of the best wrestlers going today and deserves to be a mega star in the business and in THRIVE. With the tournament done, it’s going to be interesting where the organization will go from here. Good work, Natural.

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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    Right. So I read your big ass recap and upon realizing I knew the six guys in the finals I decided to give this a proper bang. Man I hope you pick up some of the guys you listed there; JTG, Bully Ray etc. it’d be a bit more name power and with a few more guys like this on the roster I’d probably turn into more of a Thrive fan. Are all the semis first time encounters in Thrive? Or ever?

    Melissa Santos is a great choice for ring announcer. She’s the best in the biz imo. Every entrance feels unique; she changes her delivery, tone, pitch and facial expressions depending on who it is. Loving the little touches so far like Pentagon nodding at Melissa as they’re obviously bros from LU. Didn’t get the cursing exchange. Silas is the dirtiest fucker going and I liked that his tricks backfired and that Pentagon got the win. Pentagon is easily the most interesting person left in the tourney, so here’s hoping. Pentagon whipping out The Sacrifice makes me excited.

    The charity shit is really really whatever to me but the 96 shirts are a neat idea.

    From the 5 5 9

    Stoked for this hope Cage smashes ZSJ head in. He’s legit the only one of the six I hope doesn’t win, boring cunt. I dunno how much Cage would be being booed. He’s fairly over as a face in LU. Seems weird. Meh. Cool finish that’s all I really have to say about this. I appreciate you trying to inject some life into ZSJ with the interview but just talking about how technical he is etc. ah man, he is just boring as fuck. I’m praying you don’t pull the trigger on him.

    Adam Cole’s okay, Cobb would’ve been better but Cole’s fine.

    Don’t really know any of Greater Europe except Jimmy Havoc and ZSJ if he’s in but man the gimmick rocks. Bad ass vigilantes essentially. Great seg with The Bullet Club.

    Don’t know anyone here except Hero but was a fun match if a bit obvious what way it was going due to Hero signing for WWE.

    Cool seg with the women and massively intrigued by the quadruple homicide. Wonder if it was an existing team or maybe it was guys from the stars invited there? Crime Time be cool =)

    EL PATRON! Buzzing. Why the fuck is Spud on commentary? Hopefully Alberto is a player in Thrive, always, always liked him. Nice on the outside wrestling altercation too Wait wtf? Jesus. AGE are definitely the most intriguing thing in this whole section. They’ve so many layers to ‘em. Think it’s cool they’re laying out the traitors. But mindfuck attacking a commentator. That was hella fun. Also didn’t know about Corino. I was literally thinking the Corino/Kelly partnership was growing on me and now this you gunna put Styles in the seat?

    --- what if havoc signs for wwe? --

    I think you handled The BC situation well it made sense. The only one I feel REALLY has a problem with Cole is Hangman. Cole winning would be fine, as I said, but really I’m so pulling for Pentagon. ZSJ would really take the gloss off the whole thing for me. Superkick straight away is a good start Sorry wait if it’s no DQ surely Cole can have his pad loaded and Pentagon can have his capsules? Hahha LOVED Pentagon getting revenge on the referee YES NATTY YOU BEAUTIFUL MAN

    CERO

    MIEDO!!!!!!!

    I’m all in on TNA3 now Natty. You done good bro. Although I’ll never forgive you for ending TNA1 and I kind of felt I’d REALLY like to see you tackle Lucha Underground one day, I’m still a Thrive fan now. I’ll take one of’em shirts too.
    LUCHA! LUCHA! LUCHA!


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