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Thread: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

  1. #101
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Awesome stuff Natural. Only started reading the shows recently but each one was been a great read, you really do manage to capture the characters act down and the way it's written is so easy to read and enjoyable. Santino as commentator is hilarious and while I'm not a fan of Kelly in real life, he's entertaining here as the straight man who really seems to hate his goofy partner.




  2. #102
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    Tournament Road : Index


    THRIVE presents Tournament Road, a fifteen-episode series dedicated to three tournaments being run concurrently: the Super-Tag Carnival, Female All-Pro Invitational, and Twin Lions Tournament. Each of these tournaments has its own championship prize and winners will be determined during a special event at the end of the road. Details to follow.



    TOURNAMENTS



    The Super-Tag Carnival puts tag teams together and then pulls them apart in a testing ground for future foes, all vying to become the first THRIVE Tag Team Champions. The following is a list of tag teams participating in alphabetical order:

    1. ACH & Taiji Ishimori
    2. Andrew Everett & Trevor Lee
    3. The Briscoes
    4. Catch Point
    5. The Gatekeepers
    6. Guerrillas of Destiny
    7. Jack Evans & Angelico
    8. OI4K
    9. The Origin
    10. Redragon
    11. Roppongi Vice
    12. Strong BJ
    13. TimeSplitters
    14. Unbreakable F'n Machines
    15. The Wolves
    16. Young Bucks



    48 women are participating in the
    Female All-Pro Invitational, where ladies from around the world compete in a single elimination tournament to earn a spot in the triple threat match that will determine the first THRIVE Women's Champion. The following is a list of participants in alphabetical order

    1. Alex Windsor
    2. Alissa Flash
    3. Allysin Kay
    4. The Alpha Female
    5. Arisa Nakajima
    6. Blue Nikita
    7. Brandi Lauren
    8. Candice LeRae
    9. Chelsea Diamond
    10. Cherry Bomb
    11. Christi Jaynes
    12. Deonna Purrazzo
    13. Gail Kim
    14. Hikaru Shida
    15. Io Shirai
    16. Jungle Kyona
    17. Kairi Hojo
    18. Kay Lee Ray
    19. Kris Wolf
    20. Laurel Van Ness
    21. Leva Bates
    22. LuFisto
    23. Madison Eagles
    24. Madison Rayne
    25. Manami Toyota
    26. Maria Kanellis
    27. Mayu Iwatani
    28. Meiko Satomura
    29. Melina Perez
    30. Mia Yim
    31. Nicole Matthews
    32. Nicole Savoy
    33. Rachael Ellering
    34. Raquel
    35. Rhia O'Reilly
    36. Risa Sera
    37. Rosemary
    38. Santana Garrett
    39. Shanna
    40. Shotzi Blackheart
    41. Su Yung
    42. Taya Valkyrie
    43. Tessa Blanchard
    44. Thunder Rosa
    45. Toni Storm
    46. Tsukasa Fujimoto
    47. Tsukushi
    48. Yoko Bito



    And the Twin Lions Tournament sees men who have never partnered before being paired up for a tag team tournament that ends with a singles match between the most dominant duo. Whoever wins that match will become the first THRIVE Lionheart Champion. The following is a list of the new teams in alphabetical order:

    1. Chris Dickinson & Rampage Brown
    2. Chris Sabin & Mil Muertes
    3. Cody Rhodes & Dragon Lee
    4. DUSTIN & Matt Riddle
    5. Dalton Castle & Jason Kincaid
    6. David Finlay & Silas Young
    7. David Starr & Hiromu Takahashi
    8. Donovan Dijak & Joey Janela
    9. JT Dunn & Zack Sabre Jr
    10. Jay Lethal & Paul London
    11. Johnny Mundo & Shingo Takagi
    12. Juice Robinson & Sami Callihan
    13. Katsuyori Shibata & Marty Scurll
    14. Keith Lee & Will Ospreay
    15. Lio Rush & Rey Fenix
    16. ​Mark Andrews & Willie Mack



    FORMAT

    Tournament Road will be approximately 2 hours per show, featuring pro wrestling presented in 'modern sporting event' format, complete with pro wrestling veterans providing insight and analysis.

    The first set of Tournament Road episodes will feature somewhere around four women's matches and two men's tag team matches per event, with the occasional exhibition match thrown in. We understand that the Super-Tag Carnival will also feature matches between eliminated teams, but details regarding this have not been made public at this time.

    Because of the large number of Joshi stars participating in the tournament, many Tournament Road shows will be taking place in Japan. We anticipate that the crowd will be very receptive to a 'NJPW throwback' style, and hope that this new format will appeal to fans who want entertaining sport, as opposed to Showcase's sports entertainment style.

    The shows themselves will be much more condensed than the average 'Showcase.' This will allow us to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time, so we can reach a conclusion to the tournament before the year 2021.

    The designated commentary team and ring announcer for this program has yet-to-be determined, but THRIVE is currently in negotiations with top-tier talent about the positions...



    NEWS

    This post will serve as a dedicated hub for scheduling, news, and results regarding the three recently-announced Championship Tournaments for THRIVE Pro Wrestling. The post will be updated with known participants as announcements continue (they will being shortly) and will eventually feature brackets and spoiler-tagged results.

    March 4, 2017 - Replacements Pending - Kellie Skater has been removed from the Female All-Pro Invitational after deciding to retire from professional wrestling. The team of Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe (Great Bash Heel) has been removed from the Super-Tag Carnival after Honma was recently injured. Replacements are being determined for both and will be announced in the coming days.

    March 5, 2017 - Replacements Made - Kellie Skater has been replaced with Christi Jaynes in the Female All-Pro Invitational. Great Bash Heel has been replaced with Redragon in the Super-Tag Carnival. More announcements may follow based on booking issues outside of our control, but it looks like these are our final line-ups.

    Last edited by The Natural; 03-05-2017 at 02:13 PM.

  3. #103
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    Tournament Road : Announcements : Wave 1 of 8


    Tournament Road
    is a fifteen-episode series dedicated to three tournaments being run concurrently: the Super-Tag Carnival, Female All-Pro Invitational, and Twin Lions Tournament. Each of these tournaments has its own championship prize.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS // WAVE 1




    The Super-Tag Carnival puts tag teams together and then pulls them apart in a testing ground for future foes, all vying to become the first THRIVE Tag Team Champions. This announcement will reveal two of the sixteen teams competing.



    The TimeSplitters will be celebrating their 5th anniversary as a team in September. Two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA enter the Super-Tag Carnival looking to win championship gold outside of New Japan Pro Wrestling. They have enjoyed tournament success in the past (NJPW’s 2012 Super Jr. Tag Tournament) but that was a half-decade ago. Do they still have what it takes?

    Previously on THRIVE, the team lost a six-man tag team match with Chris Sabin as their partner. Sabin blamed the loss on KUSHIDA and told Shelley to reconsider their partnership. A win in this tournament would give them championship gold outside of New Japan as well as prove Sabin’s accusations unfounded. Of course, being that the first round of the Super-Tag Carnival is 8-man tag team matches - this largely depends on how well they get along with their partners...



    The Young Bucks are living legends. Tag team champions everywhere they compete, success comes naturally to the brothers from California. They are five time, five time, five time, five time, five time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, in addition to being the reigning PWG and ROH Tag Team Champions. Some fans hate their guts, many love their antics, and even more consider their winning this tournament a foregone conclusion...

    Previously on THRIVE, the Bullet Club has been under the watchful eye of Jimmy Havoc and his faction, ‘A Greater Europe.’ The Bucks and their fellow Biz Cliz buddies never know when the much larger stable will strike, and it’s clearly getting under their skin. Whether or not The Young Bucks will think of employing their usual, reprehensible tactics in this tournament remains to be seen, but it’s rumored that Havoc’s got a team entering as well...




    48 women are participating in the Female All-Pro Invitational, where ladies from around the world compete in a single elimination tournament to earn a spot in the triple threat match that will determine the first THRIVE Women's Champion. This announcement will list three of the first round matches.


    Tessa Blanchard is 21 years old and the daughter of wrestling legend Tully Blanchard. She comes to us from Charlotte, North Carolina and is currently a Shimmer Tag Team Champion alongside partner Vanessa Kraven. She is dating fellow wrestler Ricochet and the two live together with WWE’s Apollo Crews. Tessa has had three WWE matches so far (vs Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, and Carmella - all losing efforts) and reportedly wrestled a dark match for Lucha Underground alongside her boyfriend (as Prince Puma).

    Her 19 year old opponent Tsukushi comes to us from Kamisu, Ibaraki, Japan, where she wrestles for Pro Wrestling Wave, Reina Joshi Puroresu, and Ice Ribbon. She is a record 7-time International Ribbon Tag Team Champion (sharing two reigns with Tsukasa Fujimoto who is also competing in the Female All-Pro Invitational). She’s also held the DDT Pro-Wrestling Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship (but who hasn’t).



    A veteran with over 20 years of experience, Meiko Satomura enters the Female All-Pro Invitational at 37 years old. She debuted for Gaea Japan at its start in 1995 and won numerous championships there until the company closed in 2005. That same year, Meiko co-founded her own promotion Senda Girls’ Pro Wrestling with Jinsei Shinzaki. It’s still thriving today. She won the Best Match Award in 2015 for her match against Io Shirai in Stardom and is a former World of Stardom Champion. She also recently won Chikara’s King of Trios tournament as part of ‘Team Sendai Girls.’

    Taya Valkyrie is 33 years old and and comes to us from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where she was trained by Lance Storm. She made her wrestling debut in 2010 and signed a development contract with WWE by October 2011, but was released before making an official debut on any of the company’s programs. She would find success in Mexico after debuting for AAA in 2012, where she remains to this day. Taya debuted for Lucha Underground in 2016 as the partner of Johnny Mundo and it just so happens they are in a romantic relationship in real life as well. She is the current and longest reigning AAA Reina de Reinas (Queen of Queens) Champion, at a record 916+ days in only her first reign, and like her opponent, is also a former DDT Pro-Wrestling Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion (see what I mean).



    Kairi Hojo is 28 years old and hails from Hikari, Yamaguchi, Japan. She wrestles for World Wonder Ring Stardom, where she is 3-time Artist of Stardom Champion, 3-time and current Goddess of Stardom Champion, current Wonder of Stardom Champion, and former World of Stardom Champion… listen, long story short: she’s good. She’s won Best Tag Team Awards, Best match Awards, MVP Awards, and Dave Meltzer called she, Mayu Iwatani, and Io Shirai “three of the best wrestlers in the world.”

    Her opponent is Berlin, Germany’s Blue Nikita. Nikita is known to put people away with a mean Northern Lights Suplex and is a two-time former German Stampede Wrestling Ladies Champion. The 35 year old “Daredevil” will be replacing Wesna Busic, who could not compete due to a scheduling issues. Nikita is said to be grateful for the opportunity and training every day. Kairi Hojo is a favorite for many to win the whole thing, but Nikita’s opponents would be the first to say she should not be underestimated. See them clash on the first episode of Tournament Road!




    The Twin Lions Tournament sees men who have never partnered before being paired up for a tag team tournament that ends with a singles match between the most dominant duo. Whoever wins that match will become the first THRIVE Lionheart Champion. This announcement reveals two of the sixteen 'first-time tag teams' involved.



    Lio Rush is ROH’s Top Prospect Tournament winner for 2016 and hopes to be just as successful here. His recent heel turn and darker gimmick have garnered lots of attention on social media but it’s his incredible high-flying that has kept him in the conversation for ‘most exciting wrestler’ year-after-year. Rush is a two-time CZW Wired Champion and has held Tag Team gold only once (with NXT’s Patrick Clark).

    His Twin Lions partner Fenix is brother to THRIVE World Champion PENTA, and won Chikara’s King of Trios 2015 along with Aero Star and Drago. He is known for his exciting, risk-taking offense in AAA, Lucha Underground, and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, where he has yet to have a bad match. If Fenix can help his team reach the finals, he will need to defeat Lio Rush to become our first Lionheart Champion.



    “The Wrestler” Katsuyori Shibata is in a little bit of hot water with Japanese fans after an extramarital affair was exposed online by his mistress… so we’re sure he will enjoy his time away from the country. Shibata is no stranger to making guest appearances outside New Japan Pro Wrestling; he is the current Revolution Pro British Heavyweight Champion, having beaten Scurll’s former partner Zack Sabre Jr. for it in November 2016. Shibata won the 2014 World Tag League with Hirooki Goto and is a three-time NEVER Openweight Champion, in addition to having two Meltzer-rated 5 star matches under his belt (against Tomohiro Ishii in 2013 and Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2014). Could he become our first Lionheart Champion?

    He would have to get through “The Villain” Marty Scurll first. Scurll is no stranger to championship gold, having held the DDT Pro-Wrestling Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship (I wasn’t kidding…), IPW:UK British Cruiserweight Championship, IPW:UK Unified British Tag Team Championship twice with Zack Sabre Jr., RPW British Cruiserweight and Heavyweight Championships, Progress World Championship twice, and is the current Ring of Honor Television Champion (having won it from Will Ospreay). Scurll won Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s Battle of Los Angeles 2016 in addition to Melbourne City Wrestling’s MCW Invitational Tournament 2016. This may be Scurll’s first tournament win of 2017, but he’ll have to get through Katsuyori Shibata to do it.



    Thank you for your time. More announcements to follow. All feedback is welcome. Arigato and stay tuned...
    Last edited by The Natural; 02-19-2017 at 12:10 AM.

  4. #104
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Considering the monthly awards you've won this thread, it was only, well, natural, that I take a look.

    The FAP tournament may just go down as one of the greatest things ever.
    I really appreciate the fact that each one of these tournaments have their own concept, with the Twin Lions probably being my favorite so far.
    It’s good to see the tourney’s getting their own show as well, so they aren’t just lost in the shuffle with other stuff.
    Really looking forward to see Time Splitters/The Young Bucks go at it, as well as both of the FAP matches currently announced.
    I’ll try and check in regularly from here on in, looking forward to the show.

  5. #105
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Showcase Thoughts:

    1 - Your avatar looks like Kenny Omega is looking at the showcase logo and drooling over how sexy it is.

    2 - Clique Wrestling Newsletter

    3 - Catchpoint eh? How has Jon avoided commenting on this show yet. I'm thinking maybe straight up Yehi and Williams for the Tag Carnival and then Riddle teams up with Rhett Titus to form the Bromantic Touch for the Twin Lions. Really funny angle to set up a match for later tonight.

    4 - Liger and Finlay Jr is a dope little team I can get behind. I'm sure David would learn a lot from teaming with the ultimate Jr. Bucks obviously had to go over to establish themselves as potential superkick tag carnival winners

    5 - You know, it would make more sense to announce the entrants afterwards, give the announcements a better spotlight, generate a little more buzz.

    6 - Cobbmania! A Greater Europe making their presence felt even when they aren't on the show, that's why Havoc's a master at psychological warfare. Bullet Club are a bunch of pussys.

    7 - Loved Cabana's opening promo, might of been my favourite thing on the show, and then it turned into a return for one of my favourite pairings in WALTER and Brad Maddox who've been missed since the Worldwide 96. WALTER squashing Cabana after that promo would felt strongly like babyface booking, you know like WALTER's here to finally shut the guy that insulted the crowd for a couple of minutes. Interesting then to see the transition to Maddox being the one to annoy the crowd with his promo after the match.

    8 - The Road to Tournament Road not taken I am in favour of a show for tournaments and then Showcase for non-tournament stuff and thaangs

    9 - I wasn't expecting a Boys switcharoo, but I have to say that the Dem Boys switch was a bigger mark out moment than the reDRagon boys switch. Really good match. I never realised how much I want to see Jay Vs Riddle until now.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Natural
    The Briscoes get in the ring to pull Castle off
    I thought Jay was totally against that kind of stuff

    10 - MATANZAMANIA ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH. My god what a surprise, would love it if this turns into a split personality thing where regular matches he's warm and cuddly Jeff Cobb and then when someone really pisses him off he's the monster, kind of a demon king thing that actually involves changing a personalty and wrestling the match differently unlike Balor who just has another Balor match. I think that pinning Cole means that Matanza should be entitled to a ROH World Title shot.

    11 - With all the comedy and surprises out of the way, the main event just being a serious big time wrestling match as advertised was the perfect way to end the show. PENTA was always gonna win because it's too early for a drop, but it sounds like his title matches got off to the right start with a quality defense.

    Tournament Road Announcements:

    Timesplitters - Haven't seen a lot of these guys IRL due to Shelly finishing up with New Japan, would be a welcome return
    The Young Bucks - ..............NEXT

    Tessa Blanchard Vs Tsukushi - haha, I feel like this is a dog whistle joke to the stardom fans that were down on Tessa in the 5* tournament and overrated that Tsukushi ice ribbon match.
    Meiko Satomura Vs Taya - aww, I actually like Taya and wouldn't of mind her going through to round 2 over the last two women, but Meiko is queen and should go far into the tournament
    Kairi Hojo Vs Blue Nikita - I'm gonna have to back the pirate here me ol' matey

    Fenix and Lio Rush - Team Twin Lios, man this team is pacey as fuck. I like it a lot
    Katsuyori Shibata and Marty Scurll - I would have to think given all Marty's years in the UK scene that the only way you could be sure that he hasn't teamed up with anyone on the indys is to give him someone from Japan I'm gonna call this team Scum and Scummer because Marty might be The Villain, but even he isn't evil enough to cheat on his partner, the worst thing anyone has ever done in the history of professional wrestling. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo

  6. #106
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    Tournament Road : Announcements : Wave 2 of 8



    ANNOUNCEMENTS // WAVE 2

    Tournament Road is a fifteen-episode series dedicated to three tournaments being run concurrently: the Super-Tag Carnival, Female All-Pro Invitational, and Twin Lions Tournament. Each of these tournaments has its own championship prize. The following are a series of announcements regarding which wrestlers are participating. It should be noted that only the women’s matches are being revealed, the rest are just ‘participant reveals’ at this time.

    The Super-Tag Carnival puts tag teams together and then pulls them apart in a testing ground for future foes, all vying to become the first THRIVE Tag Team Champions. This announcement will reveal two of the sixteen teams competing.

    48 women are participating in the Female All-Pro Invitational, where ladies from around the world compete in a single elimination tournament to earn a spot in the triple threat match that will determine the first THRIVE Women's Champion. This announcement will list three of the first round matches.

    And the Twin Lions Tournament sees men who have never partnered before being paired up for a tag team tournament that ends with a singles match between the most dominant duo. Whoever wins that match will become the first THRIVE Lionheart Champion. This announcement reveals two of the sixteen 'first-time tag teams' involved.



    SUPER-TAG
    CARNIVAL



    The current AAW Tag Team Champions Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett are the third team announced for our Super-Tag Carnival. They are former Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Tag Team Champions and winners of PWG’s DDT4 (Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament) in 2015. There hasn’t been a DDT4 since. Maybe they broke it. Being that our tournament is being treated like a prestigious sport, Lee and Everett will be the only pairing of gentlemen from North Carolina participating in this tournament, but stay tuned for more Broken Hardy action on future editions of Showcase. Apologies to anyone saddened by this announcement (all none of you).


    The Wolves, formerly The American Wolves and even The American Pitbulls (coughshittyNXTnamescough), are two-time former ROH World Tag Team Champions, and 5-time former TNA World Tag Team Champions (a glorious record they share with Beer Money Inc.). Davey Richards spent some time on the shelf recently, and during his hiatus from Impact Wrestling, Eddie Edwards managed to rack up two X-Division Championship wins and capture the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

    Note: Both Lee/Everett and The Wolves have been split-up in Impact Wrestling storylines since signing to appear in the Super-Tag Carnival, but these changes have not been recognized by THRIVE. The bookings shall stand, barring injury or unforeseen circumstances.



    FEMALE ALL-PRO
    INVITATIONAL




    American pro wrestler, photographer, voice over talent and YouTube personality, Kris Wolf, 32, is the first foreigner to train from scratch within a Japanese company and then enter the Japanese women’s wrestling scene (Joshi). Kris has no championship wins to her name, though she has entered Stardom’s 5STAR Grand Prix and Goddess of Stardom Tag League tournaments in 2015 and 2016. She managed to reach the semifinals in each tournament but has yet to win ‘the big one.’ Could the Female All-Pro Invitational be Wolf’s first tournament and championship win?

    Standing in her way is Allysin Kay. Known as Sienna in TNA Wrestling, the 29-year-old from Detroit, Michigan, enjoys a 10” height and 40 lbs. weight advantage over her opponent in the first round. She holds no titles currently but is a former AIW Women’s Champion, WSU Tag Team Champion, and TNA Knockouts Champion. Kay is no stranger to global competition, having competed in Mexico, Japan, and Europe in her 8+ year career, and is ready for another championship win. Kris Wolf vs Allysin Kay will kick off Tournament Road’s second episode.



    “The Fighting Irish” Rhia O’Reilly, 31, comes to us from Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. Like Taya Valkyrie, Rhia O’Reilly received training from Lance Storm, in addition to training under the Knight Family (Paige’s folks). Alongside her wrestling career, she is a personal trainer and serves as an assistant coach at Progress’ Training School. Rhia is no stranger to championship gold, being a former Bellatrix British Champion and WAR Women’s Champion, as well two-time and current Pro-Wrestling: EVE Champion.

    What can be said about Io Shirai that hasn’t been said already? The 26-year-old’s been wrestling for about a decade but has an accomplishments list that reads like a 20 year veteran’s. She is the current World of Stardom Champion and first Grand Slam Champion, having won every title there is to win within the promotion. She has won countless tournaments and year-end awards, including Best Match Award for two consecutive years (2015 & 2016, against Meiko Satomura and Mayu Iwatani, respectively) and won Stardom’s MVP Award in 2013, 2014, and 2016 (2015 went to Kairi Hojo). Shirai is a favorite to win the entire tournament, but she will have to get through the fierce Rhia O’Reilly first!



    Arisa Nakajima’s list of accomplishments reads similar to Io Shirai’s, only her achievements took place in JWP Joshi Puroresu instead of Stardom. Nakajima, 27, holds no championship gold at the time of this writing, but is a 2-time JWP Junior Champion, 4-time JWP Openweight Champion, 2-time JWP Tag Team Champion, and MVP of 2012-2014. One of her JWP Tag Team Championship reigns was with partner Tsukasa Fujimoto (also in this tournament), with whom she also held the International Ribbon Tag Team Championship for the Ice Ribbon promotion. She has two tournament wins under her belt so far and looks to make it three with the Female All-Pro Invitational.

    Nakajima will clash with Yoko Bito, 30, in a first time encounter between these women. Bito is two-time and current Goddesses of Stardom (Tag Team) Champion alongside partner Kairi Hojo, and holds no other championships or tournament wins. Bito began her professional career ~5 years after Nakajima started hers, but Yoko Bito took a 4 year sabbatical and returned to the industry in 2016. Despite her inexperience, Bito’s short career has seen her battle-tested by some of the world’s most prominent stars, including Io Shirai, partner Kairi Hojo, Act Yasukawa, and more. Can her experience with some of the world’s finest make up for lost time? Or will Nakajima’s prowess put the older Bito in her place? Find out in the main event of Tournament Road’s second episode!



    TWIN LIONS
    TOURNAMENT




    Ring of Honor’s Top Prospect Tournament winner in 2015, Donovan Dijak, has been setting the wrestling world on fire ever since his big win got him noticed on a national level. The 29-year-old from Leominster, Massachusetts, is a force to be reckoned with, putting many an opponent away with his signature move Feast Your Eyes (backbreaker rack dropped into knee lift). Dijak recently ended his tenure with Ring of Honor but has been a fixture for Beyond Wrestling for some time along with multiple independents throughout New England. He’ll also be participating in the WXW 16 Carat Gold tournament on March 10, in a first round match against Matt Riddle. Good luck with that.

    His partner “Bad Boy” Joey Janela, is no slouch, either. Janela is a three-time and current CZW Wired TV Champion, in addition to winning championships at six smaller independent promotions throughout the U.S. He is the 2014 Jersey Championship Wrestling ‘Jersey J-Cup’ tournament winner and last singles competitor to win the tournament, as it would be contested as a tag team tournament from 2015-on. Now, he competes in a tag team tournament to win a singles championship for THRIVE. Will he add another tournament win to his résumé, or is he going to feast his eyes?



    “The Juice” JT Dunn has held singles and tag team championships throughout the United States. He won Beyond Wrestling’s Tournament For Tomorrow II in 2013 and has competed in ten other tournaments, reaching the semifinals in at least half. His Rolling Elbow has put countless opponents away, including Christopher Daniels in the first round of the Worldwide 96. Most recently, Dunn was unsuccessful in singles competition against ‘A Greater Europe’s’ Drew Galloway, but came out a winner despite his loss when he bravely faced close to 15-on-1 odds following the contest. Despite suffering minor injuries during the brawl, JT has been cleared by our medical staff to compete in the Twin Lions Tournament.

    Dunn has faced his Twin Lions partner Zack Sabre Jr. in three matches, winning each time; twice in singles competition and once in tag team action (Hero/Dunn vs Sabre/Scurll). Sabre Jr. is the current PWG World Champion and winner of over 12 tournaments throughout the world, in additions to countless championships and accolades everywhere he wrestles. It remains to be seen who would win in a rematch between the two stars, but one thing is certain, this is what many would consider a “loaded team” that should have no problem going far in this tournament. However, there remains great hostility between JT Dunn and ‘A Greater Europe’ for their attack on Dunn (and Chris Hero, and Hanson, and Rowe) at Trifecta. It is believed by some that Zack Sabre Jr. has an allegiance to ‘A.G.E.’ that has yet to be made public, and many wonder if even the perception of his alliance with the group will hinder this team’s cohesiveness...



    Thank you for your time. More announcements to follow. All feedback is welcome.

    See you, space cowboys…

  7. #107
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    I think that Dunn and Sabre Jr teaming up in the Twin Lions is the most interesting part of Wave 2 of the announcements, given Dunns's efforts against AGE and Sabre's teased alliance with them. So I'm predicting that Havoc and the rest will have an eye on that match and maybe decide to get involved.

    Looking forward to to the rest of the announcements and also to reading the shows once the matches get underway. Great stuff as always.




  8. #108
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    I cannot fucking wait Natty


    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Death View Post
    Btw Jiggy said I was only a 4 on a scale of 1 to Jon for being annoying so that's my resolution covered.

  9. #109
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    Tournament Road : Announcements : Wave 3 of 8



    ANNOUNCEMENTS // WAVE 3

    Tournament Road is a fifteen-episode series dedicated to three tournaments being run concurrently: the Super-Tag Carnival, Female All-Pro Invitational, and Twin Lions Tournament. Each of these tournaments has its own championship prize. The following are a series of announcements regarding which wrestlers are participating. It should be noted that only the women’s matches are being revealed, the rest are just participant reveals at this time.

    The Super-Tag Carnival puts tag teams together and then pulls them apart in a testing ground for future foes, all vying to become the first THRIVE Tag Team Champions. This announcement will reveal two of the sixteen teams competing.

    48 women are participating in the Female All-Pro Invitational, where ladies from around the world compete in a single elimination tournament to earn a spot in the triple threat match that will determine the first THRIVE Women's Champion. This announcement will list three of the first round matches.

    And the Twin Lions Tournament sees men who have never partnered before being paired up for a tag team tournament that ends with a singles match between the most dominant duo. Whoever wins that match will become the first THRIVE Lionheart Champion. This announcement reveals two of the sixteen 'first-time tag teams' involved.



    SUPER-TAG
    CARNIVAL



    Collectively known as “Los Güeros del Cielo,” (”The White Boys From Heaven”) Jack Evans and Angelico are 3-time former AAA World Tag Team Champions. In addition to championship success, they’ve also enjoyed a win over wrestlers Dark Cuervo and Dark Escora in a “hair versus hair” tag team match. It’s good they won because otherwise their team name wouldn’t make any sense, since there are no bald people in heaven. The team has unsuccessfully challenged The Young Bucks for the PWG World Tag Team Championship in the past - could the THRIVE Tag Team Championship be their first taste of gold as a team outside of Mexico? I suppose that largely depends on who they are paired up with in their first round 8-man tag team match...


    Fred Yehi and “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams will be representing Catch Point in the Super-Tag Carnival. The duo are the current EVOLVE Tag Team Champions (with a reign lasting 99 days as of this writing). Their faction had previously held the EVOLVE Tag Team Champions for 105 days during a reign shared by Williams and former member Drew Gulak (who left for greener pastures). At THRIVE presents California Dreaming, the duo of Yehi and Williams was successful in defeating the team of Brian Kendrick and Paul London, and they have been on management’s radar ever since. Can Yehi and “Hot Sauce” continue their success? Will Catch Point become champions in two companies? Or will they just have to be content with breaking their former record?



    FEMALE ALL-PRO
    INVITATIONAL




    At 20-years-old, with less than a full year under her belt, Brandi Lauren may be one of the most inexperienced grapplers in the tournament. Don’t let that fool you, though, as Lauren tends to surprise those who underestimate her. A student of Jay Lethal’s, this young lady from Buffalo, New York, has nothing to lose and everything to gain in the Female All-Pro Invitational. This will be Brandi’s first tournament, so even if she only makes it to the second round, she will have accomplished something.

    But standing in her way is the 37-year-old LuFisto from Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, Canada. LuFisto is considered by many to be a women’s wrestling legend with nearly 20 years of ring experience and ten championship wins in addition to her current reign as SHINE Champion. She’s won multiple tournaments throughout North America and is even a former CZW Iron Man Champion. An asset to any company she works for, this veteran shows no signs of slowing down and many consider her a lock for the finals.



    The Glasgow, Scotland-born Kay Lee Ray, 24, is a two-time Queen of Southside Champion and currently the reigning ICW Women’s Champion (yes, that ICW). Despite her young age, she’s already competed in 19 tournaments and won two of them. She won the Fierce Females Title Tournament in 2013 and SHIMMER’s ChickFight Tournament in 2015, and made it to at least the semifinals of 17 of the 19 tournaments she’s entered. Will the 20th tournament of her career be her third win?


    27-year-old Mia Yim (aka Jade in TNA) comes to us from Fontana, California, and has been actively wrestling since 2009. Like her opponent, Yim is a former Queen of Southside Champion, in addition to having been SHINE Champion, SHINE Tag Team Champions with Leva Bates, and TNA Knockouts Champion. She is currently the NWA FUW Women’s Champion at a reign of 1,437 days. That’s almost four years, though the promotion in question is not the most active. Will this former ‘Dollhouse’ member be knocked out in the first round, or is she sending her opponent back to Scotland a loser?



    Hello daddies, hello moms, it’s your ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-Cherry Bomb! Known as Allie in TNA, the 29-year-old from London, Ontario, Canada, is making her THRIVE debut like many participants in the Female All-Pro Invitational. She almost appeared in an intergender tag team match at our Worldwide 96 ‘ROUND 4’ event in Toronto, alongside husband Pepper Parks (Braxton Sutter in TNA), but the match was nixed prior to the show. She’s held tag team gold in SHIMMER and SHINE with partner Kimber Lee as ‘The Kimber-Bombs,’ and is a former TNA Knockouts Champion.

    Her opponent, Mayu Iwatani, is in the conversation for Best Women’s Wrestler every single year, it seems. She has enjoyed tag team success in Stardom and THRIVE with former partner Io Shirai, but the two have since parted ways and many feel it’s Iwatani’s time to shine. The 24-year-old from Mine, Yamaguchi, Japan, is the current Stardom High Speed Champion and has held five other championships in the company. She has previously won Stardom’s 2015 and 2016 Cinderella tournaments, in addition to the Goddess of Stardom Tag Tournament with Io Shirai. Iwatani looks to add the Female All-Pro Invitational to her list of accomplishments in 2017. She and her opponent will clash on the third episode of Tournament Road.



    TWIN LIONS
    TOURNAMENT




    “Bad” Rampage Brown made his pro wrestling debut in 1998 and has been a dominant force in British wrestling since. He’ll be representing ‘A Greater Europe’ in the Twin Lions, and their involvement (in some capacity) is almost expected at this point. He’s a two-time ASW British Heavyweight Champion in addition to being a former Progress Champion and Progress Atlas Champion. Rampage is no stranger to tournaments, either, having won the ASW British Heavyweight Title Tournament in 2009, ASW One Night Tournament in 2012, True Grit Wrestling’s True Grit Cup in 2014, IPW:UK’s Super 8 Tournament in 2015, and Preston City Wrestling’s Road to Glory Tournament in 2016. Can he keep the streak alive and win the Twin Lions Tournament in 2017?

    His partner is “The Dirty Daddy” Chris Dickinson, one of the newest members of the Catch Point faction (along with Jaka). It has yet-to-be confirmed by THRIVE, but there’s a rumor going around that Dickinson is not the only Catch Point member involved in the Twin Lions, having signed up for the tournament before his official induction to the group. “The Dirty Daddy” is no stranger to tournaments, either, having participated in 15 over the course of his career (including the Worldwide 96). He has wins in two of them: Beyond Wrestling’s One Night Tournament in 2009 and Jersey Championship Wrestling’s Jersey J-Cup 2014. Will the Twin Lions provide Dickinson’s third win? Will Rampage Brown deny him in the finals? Or will they be eliminated before that point?



    Eliminated from the first round of the Worldwide 96 by Dalton Castle, David Starr returns to THRIVE with something to prove. He’s been called “The Product,” “The King of Taunts,” “The Cream In Your Coffee,” “Your Favorite Wrestler’s Favorite Wrestler,” “The Jewish Cannon,” “The Most Entertaining Man in Pro Wrestling,” and a slew of other nicknames, but there’s one thing he hasn’t been called in THRIVE, and that’s victorious. Starr has held numerous championships (both singles and tag team) and is the current WXW Shotgun Champion on his second reign. Like Chris Dickinson, David Starr holds two wins out of the 15 tournaments he’s competed in, and hopes to make the Twin Lions Tournament his 3rd win out of 16.

    Considered by some to be the best Junior Heavyweight wrestler in the world at present, Hiromu Takahashi had been making waves in wrestling as Kamaitachi, and his series of matches against Dragon Lee are considered among the best of 2015/2016. He’s recently hooked up with Los Ingobernables de Japon and is New Japan’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, having defeated KUSHIDA at Wrestle Kingdom 11, and is a former CMLL World Lightweight Champion. As Kamaitachi, Hiromu scored Worldwide 96 wins over Cedric Alexander and Roderick Strong in the first and second rounds, before losing to Brian Cage in Round 3. He’s officially been in 13 tournaments and lost them all, but that was before joining Los Ingobernables, and now he’s a different Hiromu Takahashi.



    Thank you for your time. More announcements to follow. All feedback is welcome.

    See you in another life, brothas…

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    Tournament Road : Announcements : Wave 4 of 8



    ANNOUNCEMENTS // WAVE 4

    Tournament Road is a fifteen-episode series dedicated to three tournaments being run concurrently: the Super-Tag Carnival, Female All-Pro Invitational, and Twin Lions Tournament. Each of these tournaments has its own championship prize. The following are a series of announcements regarding which wrestlers are participating. It should be noted that only the women’s matches are being revealed, the rest are just participant reveals at this time.

    The Super-Tag Carnival puts tag teams together and then pulls them apart in a testing ground for future foes, all vying to become the first THRIVE Tag Team Champions. This announcement will reveal two of the sixteen teams competing.

    48 women are participating in the Female All-Pro Invitational, where ladies from around the world compete in a single elimination tournament to earn a spot in the triple threat match that will determine the first THRIVE Women's Champion. This announcement will list three of the first round matches.

    And the Twin Lions Tournament sees men who have never partnered before being paired up for a tag team tournament that ends with a singles match between the most dominant duo. Whoever wins that match will become the first THRIVE Lionheart Champion. This announcement reveals two of the sixteen 'first-time tag teams' involved.



    SUPER-TAG
    CARNIVAL



    Formerly a stable that also included Karl Anderson, Giant Bernard (Tensai/Albert), Tomohiro Ishii and even Val Venis (!), Great Bash Heel or “G.B.H.” is now a tag team consisting of Tomoaki Honma and “Bousou (Runaway) King Kong” Togi Makabe. The duo has won New Japan Pro Wrestling’s World Tag League for two consecutive years (2015 & 2016), and are former IWGP Tag Team Champions. While Makabe is the stronger team member on paper (former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, NEVER Openweight Champion twice, and 2009 G1 Climax winner), the fan support for underdog Honma cannot be overstated. Will we be seeing a Kokeshi in the tournament finals?



    The Briscoes wrestled the first Ring of Honor event in February 23, 2002, and have been a staple for the company ever since. Naturally, they hold the record with 8 reigns as Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions. They’ve also held the CZW World Tag Team Championship twice, the FIP Tag Team Championship, IWGP Tag Team Championship, GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, and plenty of tag team championships in other companies. They made their THRIVE debut at the 2nd Showcase, in a “six-man slam jam” (Dalton Castle’s words, not mine) that saw them lose via disqualification. In 2017, “Dem Boys” look to add the Super-Tag Carnival and the THRIVE Tag Team Championship to their already crowded list of achievements.



    FEMALE ALL-PRO
    INVITATIONAL




    Kellie Skater, 29, comes to us from Baccus Marsh, Victoria, Australia, with a decade of in-ring experience, and she can finish her opponents with impact and submission moves alike. “The Rate Tank” considers herself indestructible, despite her thin figure, and it is this confidence that has allowed her to succeed in every company smart enough to hire her. She’s been Shimmer Champion, Shimmer Tag Team Champion (with Tomoka Nakagawa), Artist of Stardom Champion (with Evie and Hiroyo Matsumoto), PWWA Champion, PPW Pacific Women’s Champion, and IndyGurlz Australian Champion, in addition to winning two tournaments (PWWA Last Woman Standing Tournament and New Horizon Pro Wrestling’s Global Conflict Shield Tournament). She had been semi-successful in teaming with Toni Storm in THRIVE but now we have the opportunity to see how much this Aussie can shine on her own.

    From Seattle, Washington, comes Su Yung, 27, who has enjoyed a career quite similar to her opponent’s. Yung also won two tournaments (the 6th Annual American Joshi Queen of Queens Tournament in 2014 and the Girl Fight Title Tournament in 2016) and currently holds 5 championships (WSU Spirit Champion, QOC Champion, PW2.0 Women’s Champion, Girl Fight Champion, and FEST Wrestling Champion). Like many others, Su Yung will be making her THRIVE debut on Tournament Road.



    “The Killer Queen” Madison Rayne, 31, is a 5-time TNA Knockouts Champion and 2-time TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion. She’s the 2014 Queen of the Knockouts and has also enjoyed championship reigns in Ohio Championship Wrestling as well as Shimmer, where she was Shimmer Tag Team Champions with Nevaeh. In 2010, she put her TNA Knockouts Championship on the line in “Career vs Championship” matches and is responsible for retiring both Roxxi and Tara from competition in TNA Wrestling. Will THRIVE witness another ‘Reign of Rayne,’ or will her opponent send her back to Impact empty-handed?

    Her opponent, Chelsea Diamond, 22, comes to us from San Diego, California, but wrestles most frequently in Japan, where she is a staple of World Wonder Ring Stardom. The 5’6, 125 lb. beauty has been wrestling for almost 5 years now and has impressed many with her work in both singles and tag team matches. Her first tournament (Stardom’s Cinderella Champions Fiesta in 2015) saw her eliminated before the semifinals. Her next two tournaments (Stardom’s 5STAR Grand Prix in 2015 and CWE’s Rise Of A Queen tournament in 2016) saw her eliminated in the semifinals. And in her most recent tournament (Platinum Pro Wrestling’s Diamonds Division Title Tournament in January 2017) she reached the finals but did not manage to win. If her career trajectory is any indication, Diamond is on track to win a tournament this year or the next… is it her time to shine?



    Some might remember Raquel, 31, as a contestant on the 6th season of Tough Enough (where she finished 10th) but most will know her from her time in TNA, where she briefly appeared in segments with Lashley before becoming a valet for The BroMans. It’s rumored that Raquel’s departure from TNA came when management discovered she had lied about her age, but this has not been confirmed in any capacity. The Brazilian-born bombshell won CWE’s Rise of a Queen tournament in 2016 (the same tournament where Chelsea Diamond was eliminated in the semifinals) and is a current reigning SHINE Tag Team Champion alongside Santana Garrett.

    Speaking of Santana Garrett, this match will be the only contest in the FAP Invitational’s opening round to feature tag team champions facing off against one another. The 28-year-old is a second generation wrestler from Ocala, Florida, and has had much more success than Raquel. She’s held over twenty championships in her career, but more impressive than that, she’s the current Belleview Pro Wrestling Heavyweight *and* Tag Team Champion, CWE Vixen’s Champion, Nova Pro Wrestling Women’s Champion, Ring Warriors Battling Bombshells Champion, and Women of Wrestling World Champion. We admire Garrett’s hustle, holding all of those championships and still making the time to appear for us, but the question must be asked: will Santana be the first THRIVE Women’s Champion? Does she even have room to store all this gold?



    TWIN LIONS
    TOURNAMENT




    “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes is one of the more recent additions to the Bullet Club faction, and has had a much-talked-about post-WWE career on the independent circuit. He’s the current Global Force Wrestling NEX*GEN Champion (whatever that means) in addition to being the current WCPW Internet Champion. He recently won his NJPW debut match against Juice Robinson, and has been getting some good heat as a heel in Ring of Honor. A win in the Twin Lions Tournament could be just what Rhodes needs to prove his worth to indy wrestling.

    His partner, Dragon Lee, won the Rookie of the Year award from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 2014 and has been making a name for himself ever since. He is the current CMLL World Lightweight Champion on his second reign, and has won two high-profile ‘Mask vs Mask’ matches (against La Máscara and Kamaitachi). Lee was unsuccessful in his ROH World Television Championship match against Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay in December, and again in his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match against Hiromu Takahashi in February. Can he reverse his fortune and become the first THRIVE Lionheart Champion?



    Former UFC star Matt Riddle comes to us from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He’s the current Progress Atlas Champion and winner of Evolve’s Style Battle 2016. He won Beyond Wrestling’s Tournament for Today Men in 2016 and is currently set to face Donovan Dijak in the first round of Germany-based Westside Xtreme Wrestling’s 16 Carat Gold tournament on March 10. There’s many who believe Riddle is a future WWE Champion in the making, likening his quick adaptation to pro wrestling to that of Kurt Angle. He’s got a big submission victory in THRIVE over Kazushi Sakuraba and looks to follow that up with a tournament win here.

    Whether wrestling as Chuck Taylor, Scoot Tatum, Howie Dewitt, or recently DUSTIN, the humorous grappler who began his training at age 15 returns to THRIVE with a shorter name and a chip on his shoulder. Having been ousted from the Worldwide 96 by WALTER in under 6 minutes, the “Kentucky Gentleman” is back with a vengeance, vowing to begin a streak that will put even Goldberg to shame (though he has said as much before…). There may be a slight hitch in his plans though, because at Evolve 77, DUSTIN lost a vicious no-disqualifications match to Riddle, and some suspect there will be lingering tensions between the two...



    Thank you for your time. More announcements to follow. All feedback is welcome.

    Smell ya later, Bart. Smell ya later forever…
    Last edited by The Natural; 02-21-2017 at 07:48 PM.

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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Raquel on the tourney hehe, she was suppose to be the Bromans Personal Trainer and I haven't seen her since Jesse and Robbie broke up and win into singles. I'm sure though, she'll lose with honor to Santana who's had some good matches especially in her days in Stardom.

    Real Women of Genius
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Tournament Road Announcement Reaction

    Super Tag League Carnival:
    - Lee & Everett are ok, they definitely have their fans over in places like CWF Mid-Atlantic where they get to to truly showcase themselves.
    - Wolves don't terribly excite me, but I'm sure they'll play a solid role in the tournament.
    - Evans and Angelico are a great team, this is more like it and Evans is just a blast to write for I would imagine.
    - Catchpoint. Did I not call it that Yehi and Williams would be in this to free up Riddle for the Twin Lions? I can read between the lines unless it's Jeff Cobb booking. Wave 3 > Wave 2 in the super tag carnival that's for sure
    - GREAT HEEL BASH. Bit of a surprise, didn't expect them but they have their pedigree in tag team tournaments. Very capable of very good matches against the right team.
    - Briscoes were an expected announcement after the Dalton Castle 6 way, gives the tournament some experience and prestige

    FAP Invitational:
    -
    I know who Kris Wolf is but I'm not familiar enough to know how good she is.
    - Sienna's ok I guess
    - Rhia's a nice surprise, she doesn't seem to get much of a look in at the big British promotions but they aren't too great at promoting women's wrestling. She's a Shimmer mainstay though
    - Io. Oh well there goes Rhia's chances of making the 2nd round. Io is bae and should go far in the tournament
    - I really don't know much of Nakajima because I'm a fair-weather Joshi viewer
    - Bito I kind of know, she's had a good return to the industry in 2016, fun team with Hojo
    - Not heard of Brandi but she's gonna die to Lufisto in round 1
    - KLR is the best British female wrestler outside of WWE, and given her success in other tournaments I'm predicting Quarter Finals for the girl here.
    - Mia Yim has improved from what I hear, had some good matches in TNA. Can't see her beating KLR though
    - Cherry Bomb Vs Mayu is possibly the meeting of the two best babyface workers outside of WWE, I hear Allie knocks it out of the park with her character work in TNA. Gotta be Mayu here though.
    - Seeing as though you've used Kellie before, I think the Aussie will beat Su Yung
    - Madison stinks (sorry Daren) so hopefully Chelsea wins in round 1
    - Raquel is hot as fuck, but gotta be Santana to pull out the win I'd imagine

    TWIN LIONS TOURNAMENT:
    - I'm not a CZW guy, so I can't say I've seen much of Janela but maybe Dijak is man enough to get these guys through the first round.
    - For storyline purposes, JT Dunn and Zack Sabre Jr is the pick of the teams so far. The Juicy Wizards could win a few matches for sure
    - I'm not a big Dickinson guy, but with Rampage being slotted in as Havoc's number 1 heavy I can't see them being pushovers in this tournament, 1 win at least I think. I name this team the Rampaging Dicks.
    - HiroJew Takahashi. Very talented team here with the Timebomb and the Product. One of my favourite pairings so far.
    - Well I just hope Dragon Lee knows 'THE RULEZ' otherwise this team might not get on with each other. Two good wrestling families here.
    - Did you book Riddle with DUSTIN because you know I hate DUSTIN? Probably more for the Evolve street fight tension but man I hope Riddle loses in the first round now.

  13. #113
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Because the TimeSplitters are teaming with the Bucks, I want them out in the first round… highly unlikely, but a man can dream.


    Tessa over Tsukushi


    Satomura over Valkyrie


    No idea who either Hairi Hojo or Blue Nikita are but Hojo for the win


    Fenix and Rush are a logical pairing


    Scurll and Shibata are an interesting and fascinating pairing. I see them in the finals


    The Lee/Everett and Wolves pairing to lose


    Kay over Wolf (though I love Wolf she’s an oddball)


    Io Shirai over Rhia O’Reilly


    Nakajima over Bito


    Don’t care about Janela or Dijak


    JT Dunn and Sabre advance but lose in the next round.


    Catch point bores me while Angelico is my favorite.. Jack Evans.. well, he’s alive and still getting bookings.. so good for him.


    Lufisto over Brandi Lauren


    Kay lee Ray beats Mia Yim


    Cherry Bomb to beat Iwatani


    Rampage Brown and Dickison because I like Brown.


    Hiromu Takahashi and David Starr will be interesting to see


    Kellie Slater defeats the Great Suta


    Santana Garrett mops the floor with Raquel


    I want Rhodes and Dragon Lee to advance


    Riddle and Dustin… a team I couldn’t hate anymore if I tried.

  14. #114
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Uh-Oh Natty, Kellie Skater retired today.

    https://twitter.com/we_are_stardom/s...89870438539265

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    Showcase #003



    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    We are back in beautiful Toronto for another exciting edition of Showcase. There’s loads to be done before we take a stroll down Tournament Road, so this will be a more condensed program than usual. Without further adieu, I present your commentary team for the evening.

    Kevin Kelly and Tony Carelli are seated at the broadcast desk and going over some last minute notes that were just given to them. Kelly addresses the camera like a professional while the former Santino Marella sits there looking at his phone.

    Kevin Kelly: ...ahem.

    No reaction.

    Kevin Kelly: …ahem.

    Carelli slowly notices that Kevin Kelly’s talking to him

    Tony Carelli: Just because you're using a larger font doesn't mean I need to listen-

    Kelly nudges his partner with his elbow and Carelli finally realizes we are on the air.

    Tony Carelli: Oh, sh-..hello everybody!

    Kevin Kelly: Tony... what were you doing?

    Carelli puts his phone down on the table and starts moving his head towards Kevin Kelly, but is obviously still scrolling his phone’s screen on the side, reading something.

    Tony Carelli: It’s just… they had Maria on that initial list of female wrestlers... but I haven’t seen her announced yet.

    Kevin Kelly: Well, there are twelve more women’s matches to be announced, maybe she’s in one of those.

    Tony Carelli: Yeah, maybe…

    Kevin Kelly: What do you care? She’s married. And so are you!

    Carelli shifts uncomfortably in his chair.

    Tony Carelli: (changing tone) You’re right. I don’t care. Why would I care? I was just playing around. A little banter to start the show. Nothing wrong with that, right?

    Kevin Kelly: Of course, with all the last-minute substitutions, it’s possible she got bumped from the tournament…

    Tony Carelli: (suddenly concerned again) Would they do that? I mean, she’s a TV star-

    Kevin Kelly: I thought you didn’t care?

    Tony Carelli: ...

    Kevin Kelly: Hey, who knows, maybe they swapped her with Beth Phoenix!

    Carelli stares a hole into his broadcast partner.

    Kevin Kelly: ...or not.

    Tony Carelli: … ...don’t fuck with me, Kevin.

    Carelli picks up his phone and starts scrolling again. Kelly turns toward the camera and addresses the audience at home.

    Kevin Kelly: We’ve got a fantastic night of action for you here on Showcase, and I would probably say that even if we didn’t, but tonight we really do! First, a fatal four-way opener that will see all four participants making their THRIVE debut. Then, we’ve got room for a match or two before our BIG main event: the Charity Brawl.

    Carelli raises a fist to show his support for the main event, but is still upset at Kelly and keeps his eyes on his phone.

    Kevin Kelly: The Charity Brawl is essentially a ‘THRIVE Rumble.’ Two competitors start us off and another participant will join every two minutes or so. Eliminations occur when both participant’s feet touch the outside floor and this stipulation lasts until there’s only two men left in the ring. At that point, the Charity Brawl becomes a no disqualifications, falls-count-anywhere contest-

    Tony Carelli: Because THRIVE...

    Kevin Kelly: You can mock the company’s penchant for putting their own twist on things all you want - but I personally have to wonder how things might have gone differently in the Royal Rumble of 2011, when you and Alberto Del Rio were the final two. You’d have been one Cobra away from the main event of WrestleMania!

    Tony Carelli: And if it took place today, it probably would have been two or three Cobras... but I don’t waste time thinking about what if’s.

    Kevin Kelly: Really? What about Maria?

    Carelli looks off-camera, in deep thought, before he snaps himself out of it.

    Tony Carelli: (to Kelly) Be careful. You never know when the Cobra will strike.

    Kevin Kelly: ...

    Tony Carelli: ...

    Kevin Kelly: If you put a puppet on your hand, I’m leaving.

    Tony Carelli: Fair enough.

    We go to Melissa Santos for introductions.








    This one’s a true showcase of debuting talent that takes place in and out of the ring, up and down the aisles, and at times, throughout the crowd. Each man is doing their damndest to make themselves memorable to the Toronto crowd and the audience is roaring their approval at each high spot.

    The pace never seems to slow down and the match is reminiscent of that awesome four-way between Kota Ibushi, El Generico, Nick Jackson and, guess who, Jigsaw. Kevin Kelly tells fans that if they haven’t seen it, they should definitely check that match out online - but only after they’re done streaming Showcase, of course (this goes for all THRIVE readers, too - helluva match)...

    Kevin Kelly: All four men looking like equals here, I have no idea how this one’s going to turn out.

    Tony Carelli: I wouldn’t say they’re all equals, Kevin.

    Kevin Kelly: Oh?

    Tony Carelli: ...Jigsaw’s wearing a mask.

    Kevin Kelly: And that gives him an advantage how?

    Tony Carelli: You’re not going to see him show up in ‘You Talk Too Much’ segments of Botchamania, for one.

    Kevin Kelly: …

    Tony Carelli:

    Shane Strickland looks awesome here as he’s given an opportunity to showcase his aerial repertoire, but it’s DJ Z that looks closest to winning the match, getting multiple nearfalls after several high-impact moves (including countering a moonsault from Jigsaw into a spinning Tombstone Piledriver). Each kickout makes him more frustrated, and he’s clearly becoming sloppier the angrier he gets.

    The finish comes when Strickland goes for a springboard move but DJ Z intercepts him with a superkick that echoes throughout the arena. DJ Z hits the apron to follow up with a springboard move of his own, but Jason Kincaid comes out of nowhere and leaps up, over, and out of the ring, pulling DJ Z off the apron with a sunset flip powerbomb to the outside floor!!

    Jigsaw climbs to the apron on an adjacent side of the ring, but before he can join the springboard club, Kincaid dives under the bottom rope and turnbuckle to sweep Jigsaw’s feet. Jigsaw’s chin smashes the apron and he collapses in a heap. In the few seconds while all of that is happening, Shane Strickland is showing signs of life post-superkick, but Kincaid is lightning quick, getting himself up onto the apron and springboarding into the air before Strickland can fully recover.

    Kincaid hits a nasty Springboard Diving Double Foot Stomp onto Strickland’s back while Strickland is on all fours. Shane Strickland's limbs give out and he’s flattened like a pancake. Kincaid pulls Strickland over, gets both shoulders on the mat, hooks the leg and takes the match at 09:14. DJ Z climbs into the ring, having recovered from the sunset flip bomb to the outside, and argues with the referee about a fast count, but the ref isn’t having it and maintains his decision.

    Melissa Santos congratulates our winner before telling him that unbeknownst to its participants, our opening match tonight was for the final open slot in our Twin Lions Tournament. Kincaid and an as-of-yet unnamed partner will be competing against 15 other teams to see who will become our first THRIVE Lionheart Champion! Kincaid looks very gracious as he thanks her. DJ Z starts to flip his shit about not being told earlier until officials make him leave.

    Tony Carelli: I can understand his fury, Kevin. I don’t really care for surprises...

    Kevin Kelly: (under his breath) Boy, did you choose the wrong place to work.

    Tony Carelli: …especially those that impact my livelihood.

    Kevin Kelly: You know, I’ve only really hated one workplace surprise my entire life.

    Tony Carelli: Oh? What was that?

    Kevin Kelly: My broadcast partner.

    Tony Carelli: …

    Kevin Kelly: ...

    Tony Carelli: ...well played.

    The amazing LIGERRRRR theme music plays. Jushin Thunder himself and frequent tag partner David Finlay appear shortly thereafter. They’re both in their ring gear but Carelli remarks that he didn’t hear Melissa Santos do her introductions yet…

    Once they are both in the ring, David Finlay requests a microphone. One of the ringside officials quickly obliges him.

    David Finlay: I met with THRIVE’s management today, and they confirmed that Liger and I were to be announced for the Super-Tag Carnival.

    Finlay paces the ring while he speaks, understandable for someone without much experience speaking in front of the crowd. Liger is busy getting his lavish entrance attire off.

    David Finlay: But I told them that I wasn’t interested.

    Liger looks like he’s following along, but the jury’s out on how much he’s comprehending.

    David Finlay: My apologies if this is a little confusing… sorry Melissa, Liger-san… but we’re not out here for a tag team match.

    Melissa Santos shares the same puzzled expression that Liger’s probably got under his mask.

    David Finlay: Despite our recent string of losses, I think Jushin Liger and myself make a really good team, but we’re not on the same page. His career is winding down and mine’s just beginning.

    This crowd is pretty patient for your average wrestling audience, but there’s a sense that Finlay might be overstaying his welcome on the microphone, so he cuts to the chase.

    David Finlay: That’s why I requested that I be removed from the Super-Tag Carnival, so I could enter the Twin Lions Tournament on my own.

    There’s a feint ”oh shit” type sound from the audience.

    David Finlay: Liger, my friend - we’re already on different paths, so I think it’s time we go our separate ways.

    Liger crosses his arms. He appears to be intrigued by what Finlay is expressing.

    David Finlay: But there’s something I have to do first.

    Finlay gives the microphone back to the ringside official, then walks to the corner of the ring opposite Jushin Liger. The son of Fit Finlay pulls on the ropes and does his final stretches before turning toward his former tag team partner and standing in a battle-ready pose. Melissa Santos receives some instructions from a ringside official as Liger looks (seemingly) amused by the whole ordeal.

    Melissa Santos: I have just been informed that the following is a singles match scheduled for one fall!

    Crowd: ONE FALL!

    Liger takes his place opposite Finlay and, though he’s wearing a mask, it seems as if he’s asking Finlay, “are you ready for this?” A solitary tear rolls down Finlay’s cheek as he nods yes.
    Spoiler:




    The crowd is really into this one thanks to the emotional lead-in. It’s hard to say who’s the de facto face here because Liger’s getting a strong nostalgia pop but it’s hard not to respect Finlay’s wishes to step out on his own and make a name for himself. Commentary adjusts their tone accordingly, relying less on laughs and amusing quips so that they can pay attention and focus on what’s unfolding before them.

    The match starts off normal/slow but the pace picks up as time goes on and it becomes a surprisingly brutal affair. If you didn’t know any better, you might think this was Liger’s last match ever and that he was leaving nothing on the table. The veteran does not cut his former partner any slack, and nearly decapitates him with the Shotei Palm Strike. A running Liger Bomb nearly gets the win but Finlay kicks out at 2.99.

    Liger doesn’t show any sign of slowing down despite his age. Even so, Finlay’s showing a newfound aggression that Liger doesn’t seem prepared for. It isn’t long before Finlay has turned the tables and for the finishing stretch he’s in complete control. The finish comes when Liger’s whipped into the corner and Finlay follows up with a series of running dropkicks. Each is more aggressive than the last and by the fifth dropkick, the crowd can be heard gasping.

    This continues two more times, bringing the dropkick count to seven. Finlay stops before #8 and backs up to allow a battered Liger to stumble out of the corner. Finlay charges and delivers a Running European Uppercut with all of his force behind of it, nearly taking Liger out of his boots. Liger hits the mat on the back of his neck and Finlay’s got him locked in a pinning predicament before his legs can hit the floor. The referee counts 1...2..3! David Finlay defeats his mentor at 11:18.

    Following the contest, a sweaty David Finlay is still catching his breath when Liger puts his hand out to ask for some help up. Finlay takes his hand helps him to his feet. Liger requests a microphone from the officials, thanking David Finlay before wishing him good luck on his journey. He puts his hand out for a handshake, but Finlay doesn’t shake it. Instead, the young Finlay embraces Liger with a hug and the crowd pops for it. Even Melissa Santos is starting to get teary-eyed as she announces David Finlay your winner.

    Kevin Kelly: You know, so long as they’re allowing us to break up teams-

    Tony Carelli: I appreciate your using humor to add some levity to the situation but I don’t think it would be in your best interest to split us up. I mean, you’re clearly the Jannetty in this scenario.

    Kevin Kelly: …

    Tony Carelli: I’m just telling it like it is.

    Kevin Kelly: (ignoring Carelli) Folks, our next match up may not be quite as emotionally charged as the last, but it will certainly be a violent affair. Night 1 of ‘ROUND 4’ saw A Greater Europe interfering in a six-man tag team match between CMLL stars and Los Ingobernables de Japon. Tonight, Los Ingobernables will have a shot at some revenge when EVIL and BUSHI team up to take on two representatives of A.G.E.








    Evil & BUSHI are accompanied by Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, Rush, and Hiromu Takahashi.
    Whiplash & Spud are accompanied by ~13 members of A Greater Europe (including Rampage Brown and Jimmy Havoc) all wearing those footy jerseys that Ed loves so much. Los Ingobernables de Japon are clearly outnumbered but their body language suggests they just don’t give a fuck. The crowd is chanting “THIS IS AWESOME” before anything has even happened.

    Tony Carelli: Why isn’t Sanada in this match? I know he was only accompanying his stable-mates to the ring when the attack happened, but you’d think he would want revenge first and foremost, given that they injured his arm and intentionally hurt his chances in the Worldwide 96…

    Kevin Kelly: I don’t know, Tony. Maybe he’s not in this match because he’s scheduled for a different match tonight.

    Tony Carelli: But the only match left after this is the Charity Bra- ahhh, gotcha.

    The match is as aggressive as the one that came before it but without any of the respect. Rockstar Spud is showing a side of him that’s rarely seen - keeping the comedy to a minimum and executing some sophisticated choreography with BUSHI and then acting surprised at his own talents. BUSHI is on the offensive when he hits the ropes and takes a hard knee to the back from Whiplash. Spud tags out and Whiplash immediately goes after BUSHI. BUSHI tries to use the mist, but Whiplash goes mouth-to-mouth, countering it like Kirby!

    Tony Carelli: You know, sometimes wrestling is kinda gay.

    Kevin Kelly doesn’t reply. He just looks at Tony Carelli and then nervously back toward the camera.

    Kevin Kelly: Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Tony looks confused until he remembers he’s doing commentary for a wrestling show and there’s a camera streaming his every word on YouTube for the world to see. He smiles nervously before grabbing the papers in front of him and pretending to be occupied reading them.

    BUSHI pulls himself away, horrified by the experience, and escapes to the apron. EVIL rushes towards Whiplash like he’s ready to finish him off with the STO, but Whiplash turns his head in EVIL’s direction and sprays BUSHI’s mist at him! EVIL throws himself to the mat in agony. BUSHI gets ready to attempt a springboard maneuver but Rockstar Spud shakes the rope and BUSHI trips forward. He lands on both feet awkwardly and Whiplash is there to capitalize with the Zombie Maker (death valley driver). It gets them the 3 count and A Greater Europe pick up a win at 12:29.

    Sanada and Rush look like they’re about to rush the ring and assault the winners, but Naito tells them to stand down (“Tranquilo..”). The losers leave the ring as the rest of A Greater Europe gets in. Jimmy Havoc and Tetsuya Naito have a brief staredown before Naito turns away and his group follows suit. They head to the back as A Greater Europe celebrates their win. Jimmy Havoc requests a microphone, but he’s oddly respectful of L-I-J, waiting for them to get past the curtains before he begins speaking.

    Jimmy Havoc: Tonight, there’s an opportunity to become the #1 contender. Whether it’s WALTER, or one of ours… the next big event, or the one after that… the World Championship belongs to Europe, and we will take what is ours.

    After an uncharacteristically short promo, Havoc drops the microphone and leaves with his soldiers. Fans are lined up along the entrance ramp, desperately reaching in for high-fives. The men of A Greater Europe ignore them at first, but Jimmy Havoc looks back as they are walking up the ramp, and nods to his minions, suggesting they indulge them. The A.G.E. boys do as they are told and interact with the fans as they make their exit.



    Kevin Kelly: If you’ve never heard of a ‘Charity Ball,’ the wordplay might be lost on you, but what we are about to witness is THRIVE Pro Wrestling’s answer to the Royal Rumble, albeit on a smaller scale and possibly more frequent, depending on how this one is received.

    Tony Carelli: Pssh, the Royal Rumble that I almost won had 40 entrants.

    Kevin Kelly: Including you. Today we’re stressing quality over quantity.

    Tony Carelli: …

    Kevin Kelly: (addressing the audience) As we explained earlier, this 22-man contest begins with two men and sees another participant added every two minutes. Eliminations occur when a wrestler goes over the top rope and has both feet hit the floor. This continues until we are down to our final two competitors, at which point the match becomes a no disqualifications, falls count anywhere singles match.

    Melissa Santos enters the ring to introduce our first two competitors.




    “Hangman” Page is accompanied by The Young Bucks in their street clothes. The crowd pops hard for Speedball Mike Bailey, native Canadian, who is attacked while he’s taking off his karate gi. Page is laying the boots into him and the crowd lets him know how they feel as the bell rings. The chorus of boos are music to the Young Bucks’ ears, and they ham it up to the crowd while Page gives Speedball a beating inside the ring.

    Mike Bailey is on the mat when Adam Page starts to remove the vest he wore during his entrance. Bailey hops to his feet and rushes Page before he can finish taking the garment off. Bailey drives both knees into Adam Page’s chest and sends him reeling. The Young Bucks look disappointed as they start yelling some strategy to ”Hangman.”

    Bailey has the advantage and really gets to work laying into Adam Page with kicks and stomps. Page manages to get his vest off. Bailey continues his assault as Page instinctively reaches for the ropes to force a rope-break, but this isn’t a regular match, and there’s no referee in the ring. Page winces as kickpads smash his ribs and shoulders, rushing Mike Bailey and tackling him to the canvas.

    Matt Jackson reaches in, grabs Page’s discarded vest, and throws it to him. Page and Bailey are fighting on the mat but Page manages to grab the vest and use it to choke Bailey. Adam Page gets both of them to their feet and then twists on the vest. He brings it over his shoulder like he’s carrying Santa’s presents, but before he can lift up and “hang” his opponent, Speedball Mike Bailey manages to pull the vest and spin Adam Page around.

    With his hands clasped around the vest to prevent it from choking him further, Speedball Mike Bailey desperately rushes towards the turnbuckles. He runs up the corner and surprises Adam Page with a Sliced Bread No. 2 (shiranui)! Both men are down when a timer starts on the big screen.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #3

    Tony Carelli: Aaaand the crowd goes mild!

    Kevin Kelly: Hey, they reacted. A little.

    Tony Carelli: What happened to quality over quantity?

    Kevin Kelly: Oh, c’mon.

    Tony Carelli: Well, this is THRIVE after all. Fans expected something exciting, but SURPRISE, it’s Kazarian!

    Kazarian is passing by the announce team as Carelli finishes saying this.

    Kazarian: (low volume) What’d you just say?

    Tony Carelli: I was talking about the crowd being quiet… I said, c’mon people, open your eyes, it’s Kazarian!

    Tony uses the same nervous smile we’ve seen plenty of times already. Kazarian doesn’t look like he completely buys it, but between kicks to the chest, Page is yelling at him to hurry his ass up. Mike Bailey is driving kick after to kick into the sternum of a seated Adam Page when Kazarian enters the ring behind him. Kazarian runs to clothesline Bailey but Speedball instinctively ducks and Kazarian keeps running.

    Mike Bailey drops a low superkick into the back of Kazarian’s leg and drops him to one knee before following up with an enziguiri. Kazarian goes down but gets back up just as quickly. He’s holding his temple as he curses Speedball and charges him. Speedball takes Kazarian by surprise when he goes on the offensive and jumps up for a quick dropkick. Before Bailey can follow up on the assault, Adam Page blasts him from behind with a forearm to the back of the neck.

    5...4...3...2...1!


    Spoiler:

    #4

    Tony Carelli: Well, that’s not fair.

    Kevin Kelly: Either someone at this company has a sick sense of humor or they’ve got wayyy too much faith in Speedball Mike Bailey.

    The three lay into him with kicks and stomps to keep him on the ground. “Hangman” tells Tama Tonga and Kazarian to “get him up,” so they can throw him over the edge and eliminate him. Kazarian seems almost offended for a moment, feeling Page isn’t high enough on the pecking order to tell him what to do. He’s still upset about the superkick/enziguiri/dropkick Bailey gave him when he first entered the ring, and insists they keep kicking the shit out of him. So they do. The crowd boos loudly.

    Kevin Kelly: There are plenty of Bullet Club shirts in the crowd but it sounds like these Canadians are not enjoying the Bullet Club beating up one of their own.

    5…4...3...2...1

    Spoiler:

    #5

    A look of concern spreads among the Bullet Club members as the fans chant ”MOOSE!” He comes flying down the ramp and jumps up onto the apron. The Bullet Club appears to have forgotten all about Speedball as they turn their attention exclusively to Moose. Page and Kazarian attempt to superkick Moose off the apron, but he grabs both of their ankles and then jumps backwards, racking their crotches on the middle rope. Moose lands on the outside with both feet, but he hasn’t entered the ring yet and isn’t eliminated.

    The Young Bucks come from both sides of the ring and try to surprise Moose with a double superkick, but the big man senses their approach and moves out of the way. They both narrowly avoid superkicking the other before getting dropped with a double clothesline. Moose runs through them and then slides into the ring. Moose is finally officially in the match and he stands up to find Tama Tonga staring him down from across the ring.

    Tama Tonga adjusts his posture in a way that suggests he’s not afraid of Moose. Moose smiles and nods his head. Tama Tonga starts nodding too. A devious grin comes over Tama Tonga’s face as he rushes Moose. And then, as quickly as the smile disappears, Tama Tonga rushes forward and lunges at Moose. Moose ducks slightly and back body drops Tama Tonga over the top rope! Tama Tonga crashes down like a meteor and the Young Bucks are there to break his fall.

    Tama Tonga has been eliminated!

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #6

    Being that The Addiction has effectively split up, “Ring General” Christopher Daniels heads to the ring with new music. Kazarian must not recognize it, because he doesn’t seem concerned with who is heading to the ring yet. He and Adam Page dive toward Moose’s knees and take him down with a double chop block. It must have hurt something wicked, because Moose lets out a gutteral yell and clutches both knees as he rolls on the canvas. They stand and poot the boots to Moose, splitting up stomping time between he and Speedball.

    When Christopher Daniels makes it to the ring, Adam Page turns and attempts to blast him off the apron with a forearm, but Daniels ducks and hotshots Page. Christopher Daniels hops up to the top turnbuckle and eyes his prey. When Kazarian turns to see what’s happened to Page, he’s hit with a flying crossbody by Daniels, who keeps him grounded and delivers some mounted punches. He’s hitting Kazarian with a flurry of right and lefts that have no end in sight. Kazarian is rescued by “Hangman” Page, who nails Christopher Daniels with an elbow to the back of the head.

    Page and Kazarian look like they’re about to give Daniels a double suplex, or a double DDT, when Speedball Mike Bailey appears and joins the fun. He turns this into a double-double suplex with 4 men involved. They both lift the other team slightly off the mat, before that team wriggles free and they come back down to start over again. This ends when Moose joins the contrived spot and we see the 3 faces suplexing the 2 heels.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #7

    The “Cold Skull” Sanada is headed to the ring next. He discards his skull mask and leather jacket as soon as he is ringside but doesn’t get in the ring immediately. He looks to be picking his moment. Inside the ring, Daniels is coordinating a double team move against Kazarian with Moose’s help - can’t blame him for being salty. But this leaves Speedball Mike Bailey stomping Adam Page, and a moment later he is blindsided by Sanada.

    Sanada is laying a beating on Speedball Mike Bailey when Moose turns to come and help out. A recovering Adam Page goes for a chop block on Moose but this time Moose was expecting it. He moves at the last second and Page dives into nothing. Moose is bending over to grab Adam Page and pick him up when Sanada rushes over and gives Moose a dropkick to the side of the head. It rocks Moose and sends him to the mat. Daniels pauses his vendetta towards Kazarian for a moment to go after Sanada, but when Adam Page joins the fight on Sanada’s side, they easily overpower the “Ring General.”

    Kevin Kelly: Sanada and the “Hangman” working very well as a team here.

    Tony Carelli: Sounds like you didn’t expect that.

    Kevin Kelly: Well they are in rival factions, aren’t they? There was a special animosity when Omega fought Naito in the semifinals of the G1 Climax.

    Tony Carelli: A ‘special animosity?’

    Kevin Kelly: Tony, they spit in each other’s faces.

    Tony Carelli: Or maybe they really liked each other. I mean, I’ve seen these videos on the internet-

    Kevin Kelly: Thaaat’s enough of that, thank you.

    Inside the ring, Sanada and Page are beating down Christopher Daniels when Speedball Mike Bailey manages to blast Kazarian with a series of flurries before putting him on dream street with a Buzzsaw Kick to the temple. Sanada and Page turn away from Daniels to target Speedball Mike Bailey, when Moose surprises “Hangman” Adam Page with the Hitstick (his variation of the spear). Sanada takes Speedball down with a mean headbutt before turning his attention to Moose.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #8

    Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…

    ECIII makes his THRIVE debut to a huge pop. There’s a look of recognition on Moose’s face as his Impact Wrestling co-star makes his way to the ring. Sanada takes advantage of the momentary distraction, hitting Moose with a rapid series of strikes. Moose shakes them off, dazes Sanada with a few jabs, and then puts him down with a big (and beautifully executed) dropkick!

    Ethan Carter III enters the ring at this time and gets up close to Moose. They exchange some words that the cameras (and ring mics) aren’t picking up, but at the end of it, they shake hands and turn away from each other, leading you to believe they have made some sort of arrangement, being that they are bros at TNA and all. This lasts all of about 10 seconds. When Moose starts to pull Kazarian to his feet, ECIII rushes, surprises him, and pushes him over the top rope and to the outside.

    Moose has been eliminated.

    There’s some boos when this happens but they quickly turn to cheers, as Speedball Mike Bailey has positioned himself directly behind ECIII. When the former TNA World Champion turns around, he’s met with a strong front dropkick that takes him off his feet. ECIII looks like he’s just a shove away from going over the top rope completely before he comes back down and lands inside of the ring. So close.

    An angry ECIII begins pummeling Speedball while Kazarian brawls with Daniels and Adam Page begins fighting with Sanada. They brawl throughout the ring for the next ~20 seconds, and then the timer starts ticking down.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #9

    Jeff Cobb storms the ring with fire in his eyes. When “Mr. Athletic” slides in and pops up to his feet, ECIII is there to greet him. ECIII underestimates Cobb’s speed, throwing a punch that Cobb easily sidesteps. Cobb allows Ethan Carter’s momentum to bring him closer, then lifts him up and slams him down with a Tour of the Islands (reverse-spin scoop powerslam). Kazarian attacks, followed by Page, and he manhandles them both. Sanada tries to dropkick Cobb, but Cobb dodges it and gives Sanada a deadlift gutwrench suplex.

    Tony Carelli: Not a great way to make friends in this kind of match, but he sure is impressive!

    Christopher Daniels tries to surprise Jeff Cobb with a running crossbody but Jeff Cobb catches him and hits another Tour of the Islands and the crowd pops for it. Kazarian and Page attack him with forearms to the back and then move around the front to attempt a double DDT. Cobb counters this and instead we see the Bullet Club boys flipped over with a double Northern Lights suplex!

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #10

    Ricochet jumps onto the apron and then springboards into the ring, hitting both Christopher Daniels and Sanada with a big springboard dropkick. ECIII moves in to attack Ricochet, but Ricochet does half of a back-flip, puts his hands on the mat, and then flips forward back to his feet in a Matrix-like counter of ECIII’s clothesline. ECIII keeps running and then swings his arm out again, clotheslining Speedball Mike Bailey out of the ring!

    Speedball Mike Bailey has been eliminated!

    The crowd erupts with jeers for ECIII, a stark contrast to the reaction he got on his arrival. He more or less tells them to go fuck themselves before turning around into a fireman’s carry! Ricochet has him up and drops him into the Benadryller (fireman’s carry to roundhouse kick), but ECIII blocks the kick!!

    ECIII rolls Ricochet back to his feet and immediately follows up with a lariat that sends Ricochet over-the-top-rope, but Ricochet skins the cat and re-enters the ring. Upon seeing this, ECIII tries to clothesline him again but Ricochet is one step ahead of him, grabbing onto the top rope and dropping down. ECIII’s momentum carries him over and he plummets to the outside floor.

    Ethan Carter III has been eliminated!

    Ricochet and Jeff Cobb have a brief staredown with a look of recognition between the two, before they are interrupted by Kazarian and “Hangman” Adam Page.

    Kevin Kelly: Ricochet and Cobb know each other from Lucha Underground where they are known as Prince Puma and Matanza Cueto, respectively. What are the odds the next wrestler is a Lucha Underground star as well?

    Tony Carelli: The Mack as Willie Mack? Cage as Brian Cage? El Hijo del Fantasma as King Cuerno? Jeremiah Crane as Sami Callihan?

    Kevin Kelly: Wow, you really know your stuff.

    Tony Carelli: Well, I’ve been trying to catch up on as much as I can since PENTA won the Worldwide 96. Figured it would be good to get a better understanding of our World Champ.

    Kevin Kelly: Color me impressed, Tony! You do care about this job.

    Tony Carelli: Of course I care, I’m a company man. I even spoke to their producers about seeing if we could get you replaced with Matt Striker.

    Kevin Kelly: ...you what?

    Tony Carelli: Relax, Kevin. I’m only joking. Kind of.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #11

    Tony Carelli: Oh shhh-.

    Kevin Kelly: It’s not a character from Lucha Underground, but this man is larger than life, it’s the monster known as WALTER!

    Everyone in the ring is distracted for a moment by the beast of a man heading down the ramp. The Bullet Club’s Kazarian and Adam Page are the first to snap out of it and try to take advantage of the distraction. Page goes after Jeff Cobb and Kazarian goes after Ricochet, sending them into adjacent corners and pummeling them. Ricochet and Cobb manage to fight their way out of the corner, though. Kazarian and Page are pushed towards the center of the ring, where they turn around to get rocked with a double lariat from WALTER. Christopher Daniels tries to jump onto WALTER’s back for a sleeperhold but WALTER rolls him over the top of him. Daniels lands on his feet and turns around to eat a big boot.

    Sanada tries jumping onto WALTER’s shoulders and driving elbows into his temple, but WALTER jumps up and slams him down with a big samoan drop. Jeff Cobb rushes at WALTER as he recovers but the big man gets another surprisingly-quick big boot up to stop Cobb in his tracks. Ricochet leaps off the second turnbuckle with a dropkick to WALTER’s chest. The man who eliminated Ricochet from the Worldwide 96 stumbles back and catches himself on the ropes, but does not go down. Ricochet charges him with a high knee, but WALTER catches him and dumps him over the top rope.

    Ricochet is still in this, managing to land awkwardly on the apron before pulling himself to his feet. As soon as he’s standing, WALTER nails him with a strong headbutt to the shoulder. Ricochet drops to the hardest part of the ring, clutching the bottom rope for dear life, and just barely hanging on. WALTER reaches over to grab Ricochet, when he feels Jeff Cobb attempting to topple him over. WALTER forgets about Ricochet for the time being and drives his elbow into Cobb’s face. Cobb stumbles back into the center of the ring, where WALTER meets him with a hand around the throat. WALTER lifts Cobb up and drops him with big Chokeslam.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #12

    The former Alberto Del Rio comes out to a good reaction. He smiles for this but his expression begins to change as he approaches the ring and sees WALTER waiting with a smile on his face. WALTER backs away from the ropes, allowing Alberto El Patron to enter the ring without incident. As WALTER does this, Kazarian and “Hangman” Adam Page jump him from behind.

    Alberto gets into the ring and weighs his options. Both Cobb and Ricochet are on the mat, recovering from WALTER’s onslaught. That leaves Page, Kazarian, and WALTER himself. El Patron looks like he has to talk himself into it, as though he knows better, but ultimately, he helps WALTER out and “evens the odds,” if you can call it that, by taking on of the Bullet Club goons off him.

    El Patron gets “Hangman” Page into a corner and delivers some loud chops that get “wooo’s!” Meanwhile, Kazarian had been fighting WALTER solo but has now resorted to begging WALTER not to break him in half. The request is ignored, and Kazarian gets blasted with a kick to the midsection followed by a huge Powerbomb. Adam Page collapsed to the mat clutching his chest after the last chop from Patron, so Alberto turns to face WALTER once and for all.

    Alberto El Patron tries to surprise WALTER with speed, running up and landing a quick enziguiri, but the big man is unphased. WALTER bombs Alberto El Patron with a double axe-handle as Patron tries to stand up. This is immediately followed with a big senton across El Patron’s back. He groans when the weight of WALTER smashes the life out of him. When WALTER gets back to his feet and turns around, Ricochet and Jeff Cobb are there to greet him with kicks to the midsection.

    WALTER doubles over from the force of both men kicking and they look like they’re going to execute a double suplex, but he overpowers them with a double suplex of his own and they come slamming to the mat with authority. The second that WALTER starts getting up after the suplex, Kazarian hits him square in the chin with a low-angle superkick. He collapses immediately after this, still devastated by WALTER’s earlier Powerbomb. Adam Page takes over the assault and starts punting at WALTER’s ribs.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #13

    Bully Ray smashes the chair across Jeff Cobb’s back, then Ricochet’s back, and then finally against WALTER’s. He smashes WALTER several times with the chair while referees on the outside are shouting at him to stop and relinquish the foreign object. Bully Ray stops attacking WALTER for a moment, lays three chair shots across the back of Alberto El Patron, and then backs away.

    Kazarian and “Hangman” Adam Page are now standing to his left and right. The cameras can hear them ask if he has any interest in becoming “Bullet Ray,” before they laugh nervously. Bully Ray looks as though he’s considered the idea and then smiles. The moment a look of relief crosses the faces of Kazarian and Page, Bully Ray drives the steel chair into Kazarian’s abdomen and then fires it back into Page’s chest. He smashes both of them across the back with the chair and then gracefully takes the chair toward the edge of the ring to hand it to a referee. Bully Ray raises a fist in the air and looks at the hard camera as the crowd cheers him on.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #14

    There’s a weird, almost psychedelic moment as most of the participants in the ring are writhing in pain and “Warrior Man” by Dr. Dog begins to play. Out comes Matt Sydal with his cool jacket and slicked back hair. He doesn’t run but he doesn’t waste time coming down the ramp before doing his impressive running-dive/slide-beneath-the-bottom-rope ring entrance. He gets up and counters a jab from Bully Ray into an arm drag that he follows up with a hurricanrana. Sanada charges him next and gets countered with a meteora.

    The crowd is cheering for Sydal when he backs into Christopher Daniels. They both turn around at the same time. Daniels goes for a kick but Sydal counters with a dragon screw. As Daniels is recovering, the slightly-faster Sydal blasts him with a shining wizard. Daniels is holding his face as Sydal executes a picture perfect standing moonsault.

    “Reborn” Matt Sydal is basking in the adoration of the crowd when he turns around to see Bully Ray is back to his feet. Before Ray can attack Sydal, however, he is grabbed around the throat by WALTER. WALTER pushes him into the corner and hammers him with lefts and rights to the gut. The succession of blows continues until Bully Ray can’t defend himself anymore. WALTER lifts the battered Bully Ray and dumps him over the top rope. Ray hits the apron before falling out of the ring.

    Bully Ray has been eliminated!

    Bully Ray is still clutching his midsection as referees help him up on the outside. He looks up at WALTER with a face that says ‘outrage,’ but it turns to a face that says ‘ouch’ as soon as the referees try to move him.

    Tony Carelli: I guess you shouldn’t try to bully a man like WALTER.

    Bully Ray looks over in Carelli’s direction for a moment and Carelli gasps, but nothing comes of it. Ray is helped to the back, cursing the officials that are assisting him the entire way. Meanwhile, inside the ring, Alberto El Patron and Ricochet begin to clash as Sydal and Cobb start fighting.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #15

    There’s another momentary distraction as former WWE superstar Ryback makes his THRIVE debut, walking down the ramp with a smile on his face as the crowd chants “FEED ME MORE!” He steps into the ring and makes quick work of Kazarian and Page, before blasting Jeff Cobb with a clothesline and tossing Alberto El Patron with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Alberto goes crashing into Sanada and the two collapse against the turnbuckles.

    Ricochet attempts to surprise WALTER with a reverse frankensteiner while he watches Ryback do this thing, but WALTER stays put and holds onto Ricochet’s legs, leaving Ricochet dangling upside down behind WALTER’s back. WALTER thrusts forward to get Ricochet up and seated in an electric-chair-position before swinging him around and delivering an ugly Powerbomb. Sydal tries to hit WALTER with a meteora but WALTER denies him single-handedly with what looks like a modified Chokeslam.

    This leaves Ryback and WALTER standing across the ring from one another while everyone else is down. ”THIS IS AWESOME” Even if the crowd tends to overdo it with that chant, you can tell Ryback appreciates it. He and WALTER lock up in the center of the ring for a hoss-off and although things start out in Ryback’s favor, it isn’t long before WALTER has him backed up against the ropes. The aggressive look on Ryback’s face disappears in exchange for one of concern.

    WALTER’s got him up and over the top rope to a degree, and his hand on the middle rope is the only thing keeping him from going over completely. At that moment, Adam Page and Kazarian attempt to blindside WALTER and throw both of the big men over. WALTER realizes this and releases his hold of Ryback. Ryback’s already pushing against the middle rope to keep from falling out, so he lands back inside of the ring. The two put their differences aside for a moment to address the Bullet Club.

    WALTER goes after Kazarian while Ryback starts beating the shit out of Adam Page. WALTER puts Kazarian down with a massive headbutt before moving on to Jeff Cobb and pummeling him in the corner. Ryback drops the "Hangman" with a violent spinebuster that makes the whole ring shake.

    Ryback and Alberto El Patron meet in the center of the ring, and for a moment, it looks as if the two will bond over their grievances with WWE and start working together, but Ryback strikes first and soon the two are embroiled in a heated exchange of punches.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #16

    Minoru Suzuki takes his sweet-ass time getting to the ring, grimacing from beneath his signature black towel as he approaches. Commentary uses the time to remind folks at home that Suzuki has losses against Jeff Cobb in the Worldwide 96 and against Alberto El Patron at Trifecta, so there’s may be a personal element at play here.

    A minute or more has gone by and Suzuki’s still not getting into the ring. As two minutes approaches, he’s at least next to the ring apron, but he’s not in any hurry to get in there. The guys inside the ring are half-heartedly brawling with one another as they attempt to regain some stamina.

    Around the 2:00 minute mark, Minoru Suzuki’s theme reaches the ”Kaze Ni Nare!” part and there’s a small but vocal minority in the crowd who sing along. Minoru’s just approaching the ring steps when the counter begins again! Carelli can’t believe how long Suzuki is taking.

    Tony Carelli: C’mon, black towel man - you’re not paid by the hour!

    Kevin Kelly: Tetsuya Naito, eat your heart out.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #17

    ”Something For You” plays and out comes Adam Cole with a leather jacket on and the Ring of Honor World Championship around his waist. He is flanked by The Young Bucks, who previously left ringside when Tama Tonga was eliminated. Cole reaches the ring before Minoru Suzuki has had a chance to step inside.

    As he gets closer, officials inform him that Minoru Suzuki technically must enter before Adam Cole. Cole becomes impatient with Suzuki and storms up to the apron, holding the ropes open for him like a valet or young boy. Wrong move. Minoru Suzuki drives a hard kick into Cole’s chest, and Adam Cole topples to the outside floor. The crowd cheers for Minoru as he finally steps through the ropes and officially enters the match.

    Suzuki and Cobb look like they’re about to lock up, but Suzuki surprises him with a throat thrust, a kick to the midsection, and then a knee to the side of the head. Alberto El Patron tries for an enziguiri on Minoru Suzuki, but Suzuki ducks underneath the kick and then instantly locks in a sleeperhold. He takes Alberto El Patron down to the mat.

    Cobb is starting to recover when Adam Cole catches him off guard with a superkick to the cheek. It rattles Cobb and “Mr. Athletic” hits the canvas face-first. Adam Cole directs Kazarian and “Hangman” Adam Page to help him beat the shit outta WALTER.

    Kevin Kelly: That’s interesting.

    Tony Carelli: …?

    Kevin Kelly: Well, technically “Hangman” Adam Page has seniority over Cole and Kazarian in the Bullet Club, but now he’s taking orders from Adam Cole. And Kazarian, who previously had an issue with Page telling him what to do, seems to be following Cole’s commands.

    They go after WALTER and really lay into him. They’re so distracted with the beatdown they’re administering that they don’t see Ricochet take to the skies until it’s too late. He comes crashing down on Cole and Page with a springboard plancha. Kazarian somehow manages to avoid the attack, only to be blindsided by Christopher Daniels. The two brawl into the ropes and it looks like we’re moments away from an elimination. Make that two eliminations, as Cobb surprises both men with a double clothesline that sends The Addiction over-the-top rope and out of this match.

    Kazarian has been eliminated!

    Christopher Daniels has been eliminated!

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #18

    The place explodes with cheers as “The Charismatic Enigma” appears on the scene. Jeff Cobb turns around into a spinebuster from Ryback. Cobb rolls out of the way as Minoru approaches Ryback. Ryback throws a few punches at Minoru but he takes them willingly and shrugs them off like they’re nothing. He drives a kick into Ryback’s midsection and attempts to hit him with the Gotch-Style Piledriver but Ryback counters with a back body drop, before lunging forward and decapitating Matt Sydal with the Meat Hook clothesline!

    Minoru Suzuki, having expertly applied a sleeperhold to Alberto El Patron, manages to get the ex-WWE star to his feet, but it looks like El Patron’s lights are out. Minoru Suzuki turns away from El Patron for a moment before spinning around and firing back with a strong clothesline that sends Alberto El Patron over the top rope to the outside floor.

    Alberto El Patron has been eliminated!

    Minoru Suzuki smirks, having bested the man that beat him in New York City two months ago. At that same moment, “Hangman” Page hits Ricochet with the Rite of Passage (kneeling back-to-belly piledriver) and plants him down hard. Page gets up and before he realizes it, Ryback’s got one hand on his trunks and another on his shoulder. Ryback tosses the “Hangman” over the top rope.

    Adam Page has been eliminated!

    Jeff Hardy finishes high-fiving the fans at ringside and enters the ring. He runs across and dropkicks Ryback into the corner. WALTER is on his hands and knees, catching his breath, when Jeff Hardy runs from an angle and vaults off his back to execute a modified Poetry in Motion on Ryback. Hardy urges the crowd to get a little louder for him, and doesn’t see Sanada sneak up from behind him.

    Sanada, having flown under the radar for the last few entries, is getting a second wind. He grabs an unsuspecting Jeff Hardy and tosses him over the ropes. Jeff Hardy holds onto the top rope and manages to land with both feet on the apron, but Sanada hits him with a dropkick and Hardy goes down.

    Jeff Hardy has been eliminated!

    The fans boo Sanada loudly and he gives them the finger. On the other side of the ring, Matt Sydal turns around into a superkick from Ricochet. Ricochet gets Sydal onto his shoulders for the Benadryller, but instead dumps him over the top rope!

    Matt Sydal has been eliminated!

    Sydal looks like he’s furious with Ricochet but Ricochet shrugs it off.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #19

    For a moment it seems that Naito might be trying to outlast Minoru Suzuki’s entrance, but as he’s approaching the ring, he sees a golden opportunity. Adam Cole whips Ricochet into the ropes and Naito quickly leaps onto the apron to pull down the bottom rope. Ricochet topples over and flops onto the outside floor.

    Ricochet has been eliminated!

    Kevin Kelly: That marks the second time Naito has shown Ricochet up, having previously defeated him in singles competition at-

    Tony Carelli: Tokyo Rising Night One.

    Kevin Kelly: Very nice.

    Carelli pats himself on the back as the match rages on. Naito gets into the ring but is immediately floored by WALTER, who is on a path of destruction as he hits big strikes on just about everybody. When he reaches Ryback, Ryback attempts to counter him but fails. WALTER pummels Ryback into the corner before lifting him and sending him over-the-top and crashing to the outside.

    Ryback has been eliminated!

    Sanada tries to avenge Naito by going after WALTER but the big man is having none of it. WALTER grabs Sanada by the throat and lifts him into the air. Sanada tries to fight it, but WALTER manages to get him over the top rope, before tossing him onto Ryback on the outside. The two collapse in a heap!

    Sanada has been eliminated!

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #20

    “The Cleaner” makes his way to the ring to a thunderous ovation from his native Canadian crowd. Kenny Omega cleans his way to the ring with a plastic broom as his epic theme blares through the arena. Naito is expressionless for Sanada's elimination but cocks an eyebrow for the Omega-man's entrance. Adam Cole takes advantage of the momentary distraction and manages to get Tetsuya Naito over the top rope before he knows what's hit him. Naito lands on both feet and has an amused expression as he looks at Adam Cole from outside the ring.

    Tetsuya Naito has been eliminated!

    Naito's wearing something resembling a smile and won't stop glaring at the man who eliminated him. Adam Cole looks slightly unnerved by it but eventually goes back to haphazardly beating on someone to kill time. Commentary notes that despite being one of the top wrestlers in the world todaty, Tetsuya Naito was also eliminated from the Worldwide 96 in short order. Kelly suggests that perhaps his lackadaisical attitude isn't serving him well in THRIVE. Surprisingly enough, it's Tony Carelli who reminds Kevin Kelly that Naito won back-to-back main events at Night 1 & 2 of Tokyo Rising.

    On his way out, Naito passes by Omega without incident, but then turns and attacks him from behind, sending him into the guardrail and then the steel steps. The Young Bucks run over from the other side of the ring, but the damage is already done. Ringside officials get between Naito and the Bucks, as the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon turns to leave (for real this time). The Young Bucks help Kenny Omega to his feet. He repeatedly reassures them he's okay before sitting on the apron and then rolling into the ring.

    WALTER, Jeff Cobb, Adam Cole, and Minoru Suzuki remain of the 19 men who came before Kenny Omega. It’s at this moment that Adam Cole and Jeff Cobb are finally free to face one another, and they erupt into an all-out war. They brawl all over the ring until eventually getting caught up in the ropes. There’s no referee to separate them, so the fists continue to fly.

    The two are so distracted with one another that they don’t see WALTER approaching. The big man charges them and clotheslines both of them over-the-top for a double elimination.

    Jeff Cobb has been eliminated!

    Adam Cole has been eliminated!

    Adam Cole has a look of sheer disgust when he realizes that he’s allowed his beef with Jeff Cobb to ruin another title opportunity for him. Cobb just looks altogether disappointed. And WALTER looks pleased with himself until he is struck in the back of the neck by Minoru Suzuki’s forearm.

    Minoru Suzuki is laying in a series of strikes before WALTER counters with a nasty headbutt! Suzuki hits the canvas and despite wincing in pain, appears to have a smile on his face. Kenny Omega runs past Adam Cole and slides into the ring. Omega immediately goes after WALTER, who had been catching his breath in the corner. Kenny smashes into him with a series of running high knees. He allows WALTER to stumble out of the corner for a bit, but before Omega can attempt to follow up with another move, WALTER charges and swings at Omega with a mighty lariat.

    “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega ducks beneath the massive lariat, hits the ropes, and comes back with a flying knee to WALTER’s face just as the big man is turning around. WALTER stumbles into the ropes and loses his footing. The big man hits the canvas and Kenny Omega stays on him with a series of stomps.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #21

    Omega’s attention is taken away from WALTER when he hears an entrance theme he knows all too well. Kota Ibushi wastes little time running down to the ring and jumping up onto the apron. Minoru Suzuki plays the thinking man as he slinks down into a corner and allows this to play out. Kenny Omega steps away from WALTER and backs against the ring ropes parallel to the side Ibushi is entering from.

    The two former tag team partners and best friends stare each other down. Omega makes two handguns with his fingers and points them straight at Ibushi. In response, Kota Ibushi puts his hands above his head and pantomimes drawing a katana from his back. Kota pulls the sword back in a defensive position, like Beatrix Kiddo right before she slaughtered The Crazy 88.

    Ibushi smiles at Omega, and for a second, Omega lets slip a smile in return. This turns into an over-dramatic look of seething hatred before Omega rushes across the ring at Ibushi. They’re brawling in the center of the ring when WALTER hits them both with the a lariat. Omega takes most of the blow so Ibushi recovers first and brings the fight to WALTER with fiery intensity. Ibushi is reminiscent of a small dog that has no issue biting the bigger ones and shows no fear of WALTER. Omega gets to his feet - and helps Ibushi! The two pummel an already-tired WALTER and then set him up for a double suplex.

    For a moment, it looks as though he might reverse them, but they actually manage to get the big man up and over. The ring lets out a thunderous roar when they all hit the canvas together. The looks on their faces suggest Ibushi and Omega weren’t sure they could do it. Minoru Suzuki attempts to take advantage of the distraction and tries to throw Kota Ibushi out, but the “Golden Star” is too quick, reversing the attempt and sending Suzuki over instead.

    Minoru Suzuki has been eliminated!

    Suzuki curses as officials help him up and then headbutts one of them to the floor. Inside the ring, Omega and Ibushi grab a recovering WALTER and give him another double suplex. This one makes the ring roar louder than the last. They share a moment of awe before going right back to assaulting one another.

    5...4...3...2...1!

    Spoiler:

    #22

    It’s the Ace of A Greater Europe, Drew Galloway! He gets into the ring and shifts the dynamic entirely. Galloway appears to ignore WALTER entirely, presumably on Havoc’s orders. He runs across the ring and takes both Ibushi and Omega down with a double Claymore (running single leg front dropkick). Galloway gets back to his feet and raises his arms into the air as the crowd roars.

    Galloway actually goes as far as to help WALTER to his feet, but the look on WALTER’s face suggests he’s not entirely down with this alliance. Still, there’s no time to argue, as Omega and Ibushi are recovering and appear to be making a temporary pact between one another.

    Tony Carelli: I thought they hated each other!

    Kevin Kelly: They can hate each other and still be smart enough to know you should prioritize the biggest threats.

    Tony Carelli: So does this mean WALTER’s Greater Europe or what?

    They discuss the possibility as the four men clash. The speed of Ibushi and Omega manage to overcome the combined strength of WALTER and Galloway, and for a moment, the two look like Power Rangers beating down larger foes. They’re throwing kicks and knees and punches, anything they can at the European giants.

    WALTER finds a second wind and rushes toward Omega and Ibushi with a big double lariat, but the former GOLDEN*LOVERS tag team ducks beneath his massive arms and shock Drew Galloway with a double clothesline that sends him up and over the ropes!

    Drew Galloway has been eliminated!

    Galloway still has plenty of gas left in the tank as he lands on his feet on the outside and tries to get back in. Officials are holding him back and he just barely stops himself from attacking them. Galloway calms down but still looks right upset about the whole thing. The officials manage to get him to step away and this leaves us with Ibushi, Omega, and WALTER. They come running back towards WALTER, duck beneath another double lariat (this time with WALTER standing still), hit the ropes, and come back with a big double dropkick that takes WALTER off his feet.

    Omega makes a gun with his fingers and points it toward WALTER, suggesting that he and Ibushi finish the giant off. Ibushi begins moving toward WALTER when Kenny Omega leaps at Kota Ibushi for a flying knee out of nowhere, but Ibushi senses it and moves in the nick of time. Omega hits the ropes and when he comes back, Ibushi is ready for him with a reverse frankensteiner! Omega lands head-first but rolls through and hits a rising Kota Ibushi with a superkick. Both men collapse and the fans eat it up.

    All three men begin to stand at the same time as a ”THIS IS AWESOME” chant breaks out. The three men brawl each other until their fight reaches the ring ropes. WALTER surprises them with a quick double clothesline to send them both over the ropes, but they both manage to hold on! On the apron, Kota Ibushi fires off a lightning-fast superkick and drills Omega in the side of the neck. Omega drops to the outside floor.

    Kenny Omega has been eliminated!

    NO DISQUALIFICATIONS



    FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE

    WALTER motions to knock Ibushi off the apron but Ibushi drops downward and pulls the top rope down with him. WALTER’s momentum carries him over the top and he falls to the outside, flattening Kenny Omega as he was trying to get back up. Ibushi vaults over the top rope and into the ring, raising his arms like he’s won the thing. The referee has to remind him that the match is no longer an over-the-top rope elimination, counting one-two-three on his fingers. Ibushi nods like he understands before thinking quick.

    Ibushi runs to the corner, jumps up and over the top turnbuckle, lands on the outside of the ring with both feet on the middle buckle, and then launches himself onto a recovering WALTER with his signature double-jump Asai moonsault. Omega, having had the wind knocked out of him by a falling WALTER, needs help from The Young Bucks to get to the backstage area. An over-the-shoulder camera angle shows him watching the fight between Ibushi and WALTER rage on, and it’s hard to tell who he wants to win more based on his elimination by Ibushi.

    Kota Ibushi takes a page out of his former partner’s playbook, replicating the spot from Okada/Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11. He pulls apart the guard rail and sets part of it down across WALTER’s chest before hopping up onto the ring apron. The crowd is on their feet yelling ”HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT!” when Ibushi drives the guard rail into WALTER with a big double stomp off the apron.

    WALTER manages to push the guard rail off of him afterwards but he’s obviously a bit dazed from the blow. Ibushi catches his breath before jumping up to the apron once more. He leaps off the apron with a 450 Splash to the outside, but WALTER gets his knees up! Ibushi is holding his lungs and rolling around on the pads outside the ring as WALTER puts his hand on the ringsteps to help him get to his feet.

    WALTER manages to get back up at the same time as Kota Ibushi but strikes first, landing a kick to Ibushi’s midsection and then positioning him for a powerbomb. WALTER lifts Ibushi into the air and then slams him down onto the apron with authority. The crowd goes ”oooh” when Ibushi’s back makes a sickening thud. But if they thought that was bad, they better get ready for what’s coming next: a big Power Bomb onto the toppled guard rail that Ibushi had stomped him with.

    WALTER uses his foot to roll Ibushi off the guard rail, kneels and puts one hand on Ibushi’s chest in a dominant fashion. He looks like a complete monster despite his heavy breathing. The referee counts 1...2...3! Your winner at 53:11, WALTER! Brad Maddox appears at the top of the stage with a microphone in hand with a smile that suggests he expected nothing less than this exact outcome. WALTER gets inside and holds the ropes open for Maddox. Maddox thanks him and the two step inside.

    Brad Maddox: Well, was I right, or was I right? I’m not one to say I told you so, but c’mon, people!

    Maddox is absolutely beaming whereas WALTER looks like he’s ready to collapse.

    Brad Maddox: PENTA! I know you’re watching, so let me tell you right now: you’re looking at the end of your title reign, amigo. Hasta la vista.

    Brad Maddox drops the microphone and holds WALTER’s arm up along with the referee. Maddox continues to look very pleased with his client as this extra-long episode of Showcase finally comes to an end, with WALTER staring into the camera intensely as the feed cuts to black.


    Last edited by The Natural; 02-28-2017 at 09:59 PM.

  16. #116
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    No wonder we haven't had a Tournament Road update for a few days with that show to write, pleasant surprise.

    I was rooting for Shane Strickland in the opening match, but I think Kincaid's star is definitely rising at the moment so that result makes sense.

    Finlay really has gained an affinity for Liger, nice story with Finlay wanting to go his own way and enter the Twin Lions tournament and challenging his mentor to a singles match. Respectful stuff.

    L.I.J. match was worth it for the mist-swapping spot sponsored by brazzers.

    The Charity Bowl was the best match I've read in this section for some time, which is tough to do in a rumble style match because they're so long and at times repetitive. I think plenty of people here had a purpose, the Bullet Club guys, covering the Addiction fallout, some noticeable debuts from EC3, Bully Ray and Ryback, WALTER the monster, the Cole/Page relationship, Omega returning to Thrive the same day he returned to New Japan IRL (idk it feels like a while since Omega had a match) and then following up with Ibushi coming out straight after. When Omega came out, I thought Omega would win and Omega/Ibushi would have the falls count anywhere match after double teaming WALTER. Thinking about it, I'm glad that didn't happen as you can save Omega/Ibushi for another time and WALTER goes over strong. PS - Suzuki's entrance lasting a whole 2 minute interval so he could young boy kick Cole was amazing. What a great match.

    I do have a criticism after finishing the show. I think the Kevin Kelly/Tony Carelli banter is getting a bit too much and if this was real life those guys would be getting stick for putting too much of the focus on them rather than the action going on in the ring, Tony in particular is starting to feel like CM Punk commentating on NXT Season 4 where it's funny, but it's in danger of overpowering everything else that is going on and then it's hard to shift into serious mode. I know that move for move commentary is pointless in a BTB so if you're gonna have commentators it does need to be in snippets like this where they talk about what's going on, give their opinion, raise importance etc, and I know it's an outlet for your sense of humour, but I have to say I was getting tired of Tony's schtick during the Charity Bowl, especially when he was doing controversy for controversy's sake bringing up Benoit. It was just too much this episode I thought.

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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    No wonder we haven't had a Tournament Road update for a few days with that show to write, pleasant surprise.
    Yeah, I didn't even know what a beast this thing would end up being, it was supposed to be much more summarized. But once you start...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I was rooting for Shane Strickland in the opening match, but I think Kincaid's star is definitely rising at the moment so that result makes sense.
    It really only would have made sense if it were Strickland and Kincaid. I had always planned to put Kincaid over in this (for Twin Lions reasons) but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered giving Strickland the win instead and changing some of my tournament plans. I got to watch Strickland and Trevor Lee vs The Young Bucks live out here in Arizona and it was something else. Really like that guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Finlay really has gained an affinity for Liger, nice story with Finlay wanting to go his own way and enter the Twin Lions tournament and challenging his mentor to a singles match. Respectful stuff.
    Thank you, I actually got a little down while writing and imagining this. Knowing Liger is set on hanging up the boots in the next year or two is saddening. I mean, I can't think of many people who deserve a nice retirement more than that guy but damn, I'm going to miss him and his crazy theme song.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    The Charity Bowl was the best match I've read in this section for some time, which is tough to do in a rumble style match because they're so long and at times repetitive. I think plenty of people here had a purpose, the Bullet Club guys, covering the Addiction fallout, some noticeable debuts from EC3, Bully Ray and Ryback, WALTER the monster, the Cole/Page relationship, Omega returning to Thrive the same day he returned to New Japan IRL (idk it feels like a while since Omega had a match) and then following up with Ibushi coming out straight after. When Omega came out, I thought Omega would win and Omega/Ibushi would have the falls count anywhere match after double teaming WALTER. Thinking about it, I'm glad that didn't happen as you can save Omega/Ibushi for another time and WALTER goes over strong. PS - Suzuki's entrance lasting a whole 2 minute interval so he could young boy kick Cole was amazing. What a great match.
    Arigato. I really do plan to try doing short things eventually but everything that starts short takes on a life of its own. Now that it's over, I can reveal a couple things: WALTER was always the person to win, but I can see this match being used in the future to get people closer to the title that fans might not expect.

    My first draft as far as planning the entrants goes had Billy Gunn at #1 for his jarring "Ass Man" theme to start things off, followed by WALTER coming out with Maddox to completely roast and then demolish Mr. Ass. The lineup also included Rush, Bobby Fish, Kongo Kong, Hirooki Goto, and Naomichi Marufuji but alas, it was not to be. And yes, the Suzuki Young Boy kick. Really the highlight of the match for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I do have a criticism after finishing the show. I think the Kevin Kelly/Tony Carelli banter is getting a bit too much and if this was real life those guys would be getting stick for putting too much of the focus on them rather than the action going on in the ring, Tony in particular is starting to feel like CM Punk commentating on NXT Season 4 where it's funny, but it's in danger of overpowering everything else that is going on and then it's hard to shift into serious mode. I know that move for move commentary is pointless in a BTB so if you're gonna have commentators it does need to be in snippets like this where they talk about what's going on, give their opinion, raise importance etc, and I know it's an outlet for your sense of humour, but I have to say I was getting tired of Tony's schtick during the Charity Bowl, especially when he was doing controversy for controversy's sake bringing up Benoit. It was just too much this episode I thought.
    That's fair. (Edit: In a THRIVE first, I've actually gone back and cropped some of it out. There was some unnecessary fluff in there for the sake of balancing times but I'd rather it didn't taint a good faux-Rumble. Thanks for the feedback.) I had hoped to use the banter in place of action at times to give that sense of 'something is happening, but we're not sure what' and to that end it is mostly just filler that doesn't really need to be there. After all, I did say 'two minutes or so, and I probably could have gotten away with taking more liberty on the time between entrances, and shouldn't have used them as a crutch. If you can believe it, they were actually even more annoying before I cut out a senselessly-long intro from them. Perhaps I put the scissors down so soon... Tournament Road will be different format entirely, will be interesting to see if that gets over.
    Last edited by The Natural; 02-26-2017 at 01:29 PM.

    The Worldwide 96 has concluded and a World Champion has been crowned,
    but we're far from finished scratching our tournament itch. Introducing...



    The above image will lead you to an index for Tournament Road.
    The links below cover everything leading to these tournaments.

    BIG-ASS RECAP | TRIFECTA | SHOWCASE 1 | SHOWCASE 2

    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.
    Spoiler:




  18. #118
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    The opening match was a great with Strickland getting a great deal of offense and spotlight.


    David Finlay opting out of the Super Carnival tournament and wanting in the Twin Lions tournament by himself leads me to believe he’s going to go far in the tournament and lead ot promising things for him. Especially after going over on a Japanese legend like Jushin Liger


    I love the Seinfeld reference in the LIJ Vs Greater Europe match Naito Vs Havoc in the future is so promising. A Greater Europe continues to look strong. The Wire reference later was nice.


    Bullet Club opening the match ganging up on Mike Bailey was great. Moose coming in and cleaning house was great.


    Tony has no fucks to give in his commentary with references to Punk and Benoit..


    I honestly thought it was going to be either Ibushi or Omega winning the Charity Brawl, but I’m happy that WALTER won. The addition of Brad Maddox as his manager is a very nice touch.


    All in all, this was a fantastic show. I always enjoy reading your shows and jealous as hell of your unique match concepts. Can’t wait for WALTER Vs PENTA.

  19. #119
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    Tournament Road : Announcements : Wave 5 of 8



    ANNOUNCEMENTS // WAVE 5

    Tournament Road is a fifteen-episode series dedicated to three tournaments being run concurrently: the Super-Tag Carnival, Female All-Pro Invitational, and Twin Lions Tournament. Each of these tournaments has its own championship prize. The following are a series of announcements regarding which wrestlers are participating. It should be noted that only the women’s matches are being revealed, the rest are just participant reveals at this time.

    The Super-Tag Carnival puts tag teams together and then pulls them apart in a testing ground for future foes, all vying to become the first THRIVE Tag Team Champions. This announcement will reveal two of the sixteen teams competing.

    48 women are participating in the Female All-Pro Invitational, where ladies from around the world compete in a single elimination tournament to earn a spot in the triple threat match that will determine the first THRIVE Women's Champion. This announcement will list three of the first round matches.

    And the Twin Lions Tournament sees men who have never partnered before being paired up for a tag team tournament that ends with a singles match between the most dominant duo. Whoever wins that match will become the first THRIVE Lionheart Champion. This announcement reveals two of the sixteen 'first-time tag teams' involved.



    SUPER-TAG
    CARNIVAL



    ACH & Taiji Ishimori scored five victories (and one loss) to win Pro Wrestling NOAH’s NTV G+ Cup Junior Heavyweight Tag League of 2016. They also made it to the finals of that year’s Super Junior Tag Tournament in New Japan Pro Wrestling, only to lose against Roppongi Vice. If they are going to win the Super-Tag Carnival, they must beat do one better than their NOAH tournament win and defeat six teams in total, but that may depend on whoever they are teamed with in their Round 1 8-Man Tag Team Match. Most recently, they defeated The Motor City Machine Guns on Night 2 of our Tokyo Rising event.


    3-time and current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Roppongi Vice won the NJPW Super Junior Tag Tournament last year by defeating Taiji Ishimori and ACH in the finals. However, their record in this company is a bit more rocky. They were both eliminated within the first two rounds of the Worldwide 96, then went on to lose an eight-man tag match to Suzuki-gun on Night 2 of our Tokyro Rising event. Their first big win came in the form of a six-man tag team match (with DUSTIN as their third) against TimeSplitters and Chris Sabin at Night 1 of ‘ROUND 4.’ They’ll have to hope they’ve got better luck in their next eight-man tag, or they won’t be seeing Round 2.



    FEMALE ALL-PRO
    INVITATIONAL




    Daughter of legendary Road Warriors (and now Authors of Pain) manager Paul Ellering, Rachael Ellering, 24, comes to us Sauk Centre, Minnesota. She’s got a little over a year’s experience, having made her debut in November 2015, and has already competed in four tournaments. She won the RPW Women’s Title Tournament less than a year after her debut and reached the semifinals of the others. She remains RPW Women’s Champion to this day with a reign currently at 115 days, and she won the WC Lady of the Ring Championship 9 days ago. Will the Female All-Pro Invitational lead to her next big championship?

    Women’s wrestling veteran Alissa Flash, 34, thinks not. With a decade of age on her opponent and a career that’s lasted almost nearly 17 years longer, many feel Alissa Flash has this one in the bag, but she’s been upset by less experienced foes before and will need to remember that as she heads into this tournament. Also known as ‘Cheerleader Melissa,’ Flash has had a tremendous career with 5 tournament wins and 12 title reigns. The Female All-Pro Invitational will be her 20th tournament and it’s very possible she takes the whole thing.



    Joshi wrestler Risa Sera, 25, hails from Sera, Hiroshima, Japan, where she has four years of in-ring experience. She’s the 2-time and current Ice Ribbon ICExInfinity Champion, in addition to being a former International Ribbon Tag Team Champion (with Maki Narumiya). She’s been in four tournaments (two for Ice Ribbon, one for Stardom, and another for Pro Wrestling WAVE) and lost the first three but won the most recent - the Ice Ribbon ICExInfinity Title Tournament, which led to her current reign.

    Her opponent, Madison Eagles, 32, has 7 years, 7 inches and 20 pounds on her opponent. She’s been wrestling for 15+ years and won many championships over this time period, but she’s only ever competed in two tournaments, both of which she lost. The current IndyGurlz Australia Champion is a former 2-time SHIMMER Champion and her current reign for IndyGurlz has gone past 800 days. Will her inexperience in a tournament setting be her undoing? Or will “The Punisher” from Sydney, Australia be advancing to Round 2?



    Tsukasa Fujimoto, 33, comes to us from Rifu, Miyagi, Japan, where she is a record five-time former ICExInfinity Champion, six-time International Ribbon Tag Team Champion, two-time Triangle Ribbon Champion and two-time Internet Wrestling 19 Champion, making her Ice Ribbon’s third Triple Crown Champion. Fujimoto began her wrestling career when she and some of her fellow actresses (including Hikaru Shida, also in the Female All-Pro Invitational) began professional wrestling training prior to appearing in a film titled Three Count. Their training led to full-fledged careers and Tsukasa Fujimoto has been a force in Joshi wrestling since.

    “The Empress of the Knockouts” Gail Kim, 40, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and has been wrestling since the year 2000. She has numerous accolades under her name: former WWE Women’s Champion, former TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champion, six-time former TNA Knockouts Champion, current ABC Women’s Champion and current IWR Diamond Champion. She’s won the 2007 and 2016 Gauntlet for the Gold in TNA in addition to becoming 2013’s Queen of the Knockouts. Despite all this, she has never won a traditional tournament. Will the Female All-Pro Invitational be her first?



    TWIN LIONS
    TOURNAMENT




    “The Intrepid Traveler” Paul London has held an impressive 16 championships throughout his career and is the current High Octane Division Champion for Target Wrestling. He’s competed in fourteen tournaments total and won three of them. Lately, he’s been having a string of bad luck in THRIVE Pro Wrestling, after being embarrassed by Brian Kendrick and never getting the opportunity for revenge. The former WWE Tag Team Champion hopes to find success in the Twin Lions Tournament and prove that we have not seen the best of him yet.

    If his partner’s 16 reigns is impressive, than Jay Lethal’s 23 championship reigns is truly outstanding. “The Greatest First Generation Wrestler” will be making his THRIVE debut in the Twin Lions Tournament, where he hopes to turn 23 reigns into 24. 2016 saw Lethal lose the ROH World Championship to Adam Cole at Death Before Dishonor, lose to Cody Rhodes at Final battle, and lose in the second round of Ring of Honor’s Decade of Excellence tournament to Jay Briscoe. A win in our Twin Lions Tournament could be the beginning of a turnaround and great 2017 for Jay Lethal.

    (It’s worth noting that Paul and Jay were on the same side of a six-man tag team match when they teamed with Brian Kendrick to defeat the team of Petey Williams and the Young Bucks for an independent company in 2012, but have never tagged exclusively with one another. This ‘slight exception’ to our Twin Lions requirements was approved by THRIVE’s board of directors Monday, February 13.)



    Also making his debut in the Twin Lions Tournament is Juice Robinson, who could probably use a better profile pic, but I'll let him earn it first. Formerly CJ Parker in NXT, Juice has been making a name for himself in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where his work has improved immensely. He’s suffered some high-profile losses lately - once against Cody Rhodes in Rhodes’ New Japan debut, and recently against Hirooki Goto, when Juice Robinson unsuccessfully challenged Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship - but the 27-year-old’s star is on the rise and many believe he is destined for greatness.

    Juice has faced partner Sami Callihan in singles competition many times while Sami wrestled as Solomon Crowe for NXT, but the two have never teamed together, making them one of the few tag teams in the Twin Lions Tournament who have significant working experience together (outside of a multi-man match). Callihan is the current PW2.0 Heavyweight and AAW Heavyweight Champion, has 18 other championship reigns to his name, and has competed in over 50 tournaments (six of which he has won).

    Previously on THRIVE, Callihan defeated Pete Dunne in the first round of the Worldwide 96 before losing to Akira Tozawa in round two (giving us the first Sudden Deathmatch in the company’s history). He later teamed with Pete Dunne to defeat Tommaso Ciampa and Jack Gallagher at London Calling Night 2, and will soon be teaming with Pete Dunne again, outside of THRIVE, for Fight Club Pro’s Tag Team Invitational.



    RETIREMENT


    Last week, Australian wrestler Kellie Skater announced her retirement from professional wrestling, making a surprise visit to Korakuen Hall to say goodbye to her Japanese fans. The talented 29-year-old has formally been removed from Round 1 of our Female All-Pro Invitational.


    While THRIVE is saddened to see Skater go, we wish her luck in her life after wrestling. Negotiations are ongoing for a suitable replacement and it is believed that the selection of candidates has been narrowed to three...



    Thank you for your time. More announcements to follow. All feedback is welcome.

    And now for some more fake news…
    Last edited by The Natural; 03-04-2017 at 03:55 PM.

  20. #120
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    Re: January BTBOTM - THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Fujimoto/Kim in the first round, that could be the best match of the whole first round. Both are around the same size, so Fujimoto can flip and do all her high flying and Gail will sell it like a boss. Gail is a cagey veteran she's been around the block, so she'll be able to handle her and win the match somehow.

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