Matt Hardy Turns Heel, Wins TNA Title

During last night’s TNA World Championship Last Man Standing match, Tyrus turned on Ethan Carter III and aligned with Matt Hardy, who turned heel and won the TNA World Championship. Following the title win, Hardy embraced his heel persona to the fullest, going off on an excellent Twitter rant calling fans “insolent underlings” and demanding they address him as “YOUR GRACE” or “MY LORD,” and claiming he offered Tyrus twice what EC3 was paying him.

While it’s often been easy to criticize TNA, I very much like how this storyline has played out, especially with Reby Sky becoming more and more enraged as the weeks have gone on and coming off like the puppet controlling Matt. It will also be nice to see EC3, who has become one of the best parts of TNA each week, as a babyface.

Parody Wrestling Game, 5 Star Wrestling: ReGenesis, Hits PS4 Tomorrow

Looking for an alternative to WWE 2K16? You’ll get something tomorrow, when Serious Parody releases “5 Star Wrestling: ReGenesis” on the PlayStation 4 tomorrow. Featuring “completely fictitious” characters such as Curtis Angel, Harvee Dee and “Raging” Andy Organ, the indie game has finisher-to-finisher reversals, fully customizable AI, and “wacky new rings.” The game will cost $20 and will be available for purchase on the PlayStation Network.

Ringside Rewind: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles, Last Man Standing Match, TNA Hard Justice 2008

With Matt Hardy challenging Ethan Carter III on tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling for the TNA Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match, the company has uploaded a few classic LMS matches to its YouTube channel. It might also have something to do with both matches featuring AJ Styles and his hype levels at an all-time high thanks to his rumored impending WWE debut, but whatever.

Either way, we’ll use this as a way to watch a really good match one more time. While dubbed a Last Man Standing match, the contest was actually wrestled under Texas Death Match rules, in which you have to pin or submit the opponent before a 10 count begins.

Jim Ross Returns to Play-By-Play as Voice of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV

The rumors are true: Jim Ross will return to pro wrestling broadcasting beginning March 4th at 9pm ET, when he replaces Mauro Ranallo as the play-by-play voice of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV, according to FOX Sports.

Ross will work alongside Josh Barnett and will voice-over his play-by-play from AXS studios in Los Angeles. JR is familiar with the New Japan product from his play-by-play work on Wrestle Kingdom 9 in January 2015, which he called with Matt Striker.

Here is Your Updated Royal Rumble Card

With less than a week to go, WWE finally got around to adding some matches to the Royal Rumble card during last night’s episode of Raw. We already knew that Roman Reigns would defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the 30-man Rumble match and we now also know that he will be entrant number one in the contest. Every championship will now be defended on the show, which airs live on the WWE Network (and pay-per-view, if you’re a big dumb idiot who can’t do math) at 8pm ET.

Here is the complete Royal Rumble card, as of Tuesday, the 19th.

Royal Rumble WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

Intercontinental Championship Last Man Standing Match
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

United States Championship Match
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio

Tag Team Championship Match
The Usos vs. The New Day

Divas Championship Match
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

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WWE Hires Mauro Ranallo to be Voice of Smackdown

Mauro Ranallo
According to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, WWE will announce on Monday that it has hired Mauro Ranallo to be the play-by-play voice of Smackdown once the show moves to USA Network in January.

Ranallo currently is the lead broadcaster for Showtime’s boxing coverage as well as handling play-by-play for the US broadcasts of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV. He has also called Pride, Elite XC and Strikeforce MMA action.

Ranallo told SI in an interview that Michael Cole reached out to him by email only a month ago to gauge his interest in an announcing role with WWE. Ranallo will maintain his role as Showtime’s boxing voice as well as doing some work with GLORY kickboxing, and will also be available for Raw and pay-per-views for WWE.

This is a pretty significant grab for WWE and a good sign that the company is at least looking to shake some things up when Smackdown moves to the USA Network.

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Why Should We Care About the Wyatt Family vs. Brothers of Destruction Feud Anymore?

Monday night’s episode of Raw was noteworthy for several reasons. It was the company’s first show since Seth Rollins tore his entire knee up last week working a match with Kane on WWE’s live tour of England. It was also the first night of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament, which will see 16 men whittled down to a new champion at Survivor Series. Alas, it was also noteworthy because we saw the reemergence of Kane and the Undertaker after Bray Wyatt and his minions had supposedly eaten their souls and stolen their cartoon powers.

The Manchester crowd certainly popped for the Brothers of Destruction, who proceeded to clean house of all four members of the Wyatt Family, leaving Bray laid out in the middle of the ring, and leaving to a thunderous ovation, arms raised in victory.

If I didn’t know better, I would think the feud was over.

Why do we need to see these two factions battle again? Clearly four men are no match for Undertaker and Kane, or at least that’s how WWE booked it Monday night. With only one Raw left until Survivor Series and heavy promotion of Undertaker’s 25th anniversary at the event taking place, he clearly has a place on the card and it obviously has to be pairing with his “brother” Kane to take on the Wyatt Family, but what are the stakes?

WWE could add two men to the mix and make it a four-on-four traditional Survivor Series elimination match but that doesn’t really make sense at this point. For one, the story has gone on for several weeks without anyone coming to the add of Taker and Kane. Also, why do they need help when they can easily dispatch of the Wyatt Family, as evidenced last night?

While the four-on-two will be fun, it could have been so much better, and how now become just a match as opposed to Taker and Kane seeking their ultimate revenge.

WWE Confirms Seth Rollins Is Out 6-9 Months with Injury, New Champion Will Be Crowned at Survivor Series

Video emerged last night of Seth Rollins injuring his knee during a match with Kane in Dublin, Ireland. After some speculation, Jonathan Coachman of ESPN broke the news and WWE confirmed that Rollins tore his right ACL, MCL and medial meniscus. The company has also announced that a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be determined via a tournament at Survivor Series.

Obviously this is a huge blow to the WWE, losing its champion ahead of one of its four marquee pay-per-view events and during a time when the roster is light on main event-caliber stars. It was recently confirmed that Randy Orton would be out for a long period of time with another shoulder injury and John Cena is currently taking time off to film a reality show. Roman Reigns was the clear eventual champion and I would be shocked if he doesn’t walk out of Survivor Series with the belt, but if there is a silver lining to Rollins’ injury, it’s that we could see some new stars created and/or elevated through this tournament.

Predicting the Survivor Series Card

ssreigns rollins
With less than three weeks to go until the 29th annual Survivor Series pay-per-view, the official card is beginning to slowly take shape. Roman Reigns will challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on November 22nd after the Authority announced as much on Monday’s episode of Raw. The show also gave us a women’s fatal fourway to determine the number one contender to Charlotte’s Divas Championship, which was conveniently won by Paige since she turned heel on Charlotte last week.

Those are the only two confirmed matches so far but last night’s Raw gave us an indication for how the rest of the card will most likely play out.

Obviously something is going to happen with the Wyatt Family v. Undertaker and Kane. Since Bray and Company took out Taker following his match with Brock Lesnar at Hell in a Cell, it’s been a foregone conclusion that we would get the payoff in the form of a traditional Survivor Series elimination match between the two factions, with Taker and Kane recruiting help. With less than 20 days to go and no mention of partners for the Brothers of Destruction, it seems like we might be getting a 4-on-2 handicap match instead. That result probably makes the most sense since the other people who have crossed paths with the Wyatt Family recently – Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton – are either tied up in something else or injured.

Speaking of Ambrose, a program with Kevin Owens seems like the next step in the timeline of the Lunatic Fringe. The Intercontinental Champion was eliminated by Ambrose during last night’s 5-on-5 elimination tag team match on Raw and a back-and-forth with Owens is a great hurdle for Ambrose to jump over while he waits for his inevitable program with the winner of the Reigns-Rollins feud.

The Usos made their return in the aforementioned 5-on-5 elimination match, joining forces with their cousin Roman Reigns. With the Dudleys getting plenty of unsuccessful chances at the Tag Team Titles, it would make sense to slide the Usos into the challengers’ position with the New Day.

Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler had some more interaction on Raw, with Breeze “costing” Ziggler the match by standing with his back to the ring which prompted Ziggler to swipe at him for some reason, which was enough of a distraction for Kevin Owens to hit a pop-up powerbomb and defeat the Show Off. Breeze then laid Ziggler out with the Beauty Shot and we’re headed for a showdown of main roster blondes.

We still don’t have a clear direction for the United States Championship but it would seem preposterous to not have the recently-returned (and already losing steam quickly) Alberto Del Rio on the card.

Also with nothing on the show so far: Cesaro, Stardust and the Ascension, Ryback, the Dudley Boyz, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, the Lucha Dragons, and Neville. A thrown-together traditional Survivor Series elimination match consisting of ten of the above wrestlers would make a lot of sense. As friend of the site Nick Gator pointed out, a Cesaro, Lucha Dragons, Ryback and Neville v. Stardust, the Ascension, Sheamus and Wade Barrett match would be really fun.

We’ll probably know a whole lot more after tonight’s Smackdown tapings but if the card shapes up as I expect it to, it should be a really fun Survivor Series.

SummerSlam Will Return to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2016 and 2017

WWE has announced that SummerSlam will return to Barclays Center for 2016 and 2017. There will also be an NXT show on Saturday and a Raw episode on Monday from Barclays Center in ’16 and ’17, just like this year.

This year’s SummerSlam weekend was a huge success for WWE and rolling NXT and Raw into the package and holding them in the same arena gave it more of a “WrestleMania” feel, which is befitting to the company’s second-biggest show of the year. This announcement also lends some more credibility to the rumors that NXT special events will be paired with WWE’s big pay-per-view moving forward.