Adrian Lionheart McCallum Writes Open Letter Asking AJ Styles to Stop Using the Styles Clash

stylesAdrian “Lionheart” McCallum, a British wrestler who was injured taking the “Styles Clash” finishing maneuver, posted an open letter to AJ Styles today on his Facebook page requesting that Styles stop using the move for the safety of his fellow wrestlers. Lionheart is one of several performers who have been injured at the hands of Styles while taking the finisher. He and one other suffered a broken neck.

Lionheart’s open letter is below and he makes a very strong argument. We’ve seen many wrestlers, as they age and evolve, modify their movesets. When the safety of your opponent comes into play, there’s really no reason to keep using a move that has proven to be very dangerous.

I’ll make the assumption he sees this somehow so please read and share… I’d like to openly address him…

Firstly, I hope things are well for you and family… I wanted to write you because I feel it’s important someone speak up in a more formal and diplomatic manner, as opposed to simply throwing abuse via anonymous social media ramblings…

Here’s the truth… The move is not directly dangerous… It’s a simple move in principle… Arms and legs locked, you fall forward, guy looks up/back, easy… The Styles Clash ‘on paper’ is a fairly safe and basic process…

That said, what is dangerous, is the instinctual reaction of your opponent… The wrestler taking the move, who like any wrestler taking any move, their safety and welfare is the priority…

Without ANY injuries, it could be argued that the mechanics of the move are unnatural, and injury could easily happen due to the physical restrictions and instinctual habits of the recipient… The numbers now are surely too great to even call it an argument?

I’m more than happy to be educated on my statistics, but there can be no move in wrestling history that carries more (documented) serious and potentially career threatening injuries than this… This, is what makes the move dangerous, whether indirectly or not…

Thus far, more specifically the last 12 months, several performers, actual experienced athletes, have been injured with this, 2 of them now with broken necks… The question I want to put to you honestly is, what does it take? What will it actually take for you to stop using this move, at the very least on an independent level, with people not necessarily exposed to the experience of working with you and taking the move semi regularly… How honestly will you feel the day you receive the news that the man you just wrestled has a broken neck and will never walk again? Statistically, that day is coming… It is a mathematical certainty…

I take this opportunity now, to openly and publicly beg you… Please, stop using the Styles Clash… You are unquestionably one of the greatest in ring performers of our time, I truly believe that… But the time is now, to put all pride, ego, blame aside, and acknowledge that irrelevant of fault, circumstance or anything else, the move is a direct risk and a danger to the safety and well being of your fellow wrestler…

All the best.

A

TNA Announces First Set of Tapings for Impact on Destination America

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TNA will begin taping episodes of Impact Wrestling for broadcast on Destination America in January, according to the company. The Manhattan Center will host three consecutive nights of television tapings on January 7th through the 9th.

TNA has found a nice home away from home in the Manhattan Center, where the crowds are undoubtedly better than those at the Impact Zone. According to Dixie Carter, it was a no-brainer to return to New York City for TNA’s debut episodes with new television partner Destination America. “With the explosive sold-out crowds in New York City this past summer, returning to the Manhattan Center for three huge events as IMPACT WRESTLING debuts on Destination America was an easy decision,” she said in the company’s press release announcing the news.

TNA Releases Details on Final Episodes of Impact on Spike

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The final first-run episode of Impact Wrestling aired on Spike TV last Wednesday. Ahead of the company’s move to Destination America in 2015, TNA has released details on the final four episodes of Impact, which will be compilation specials airing on the usual night and time of Wednesdays at 9pm ET.

“Best of Impact Wrestling 2014″ will air on December 3rd and 10th and “Countdown to the All-Time Best TNA Moment” will air on December 17th and 24th.

Tomorrow’s episode of Impact, “Thanksgiving Throwdown,” will air exclusively on TNA’s YouTube channel and will also be available on-demand through Black Friday. According to the company, the special will feature “the best Turkey Bowl matches in TNA history and offers viewers ShopTNA Black Friday deals, including a free replica TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt for one lucky shopper.”

Dixie Carter Says Spike TV Negotiations Are “Ongoing”

In a tweet this afternoon, Dixie Carter says TNA’s negotiations with Spike TV are ongoing.

Dixie Carter has been known to stretch the truth and not live up to expectations in the past, so take this with a grain of salt. The flip side, of course, is that TMZ may not be correct in their original report. Spike TV may have told Carter they do not intend to renew the Impact Wrestling deal as it currently stands, meaning a ratings boost or lower dollar figure could possibly sway them.

Report: Spike TV Will Not Renew Impact Wrestling

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TMZ is reporting that Spike TV will not renew its deal with TNA and will no longer air Impact Wrestling when the current contract expires. According to their sources, the deal will run out in October, with no clear indication as to when the final episode of Impact Wrestling will air on Spike.

The news is obviously a huge blow to TNA and could not have come at a worse time. The figure WWE got for its television rights from NBC Universal was well below expectations, meaning TNA would almost certainly have to settle for a lesser deal than its current figure with Spike TV if it finds a new television partner.

This is a wake up call for TNA. The company’s only hope is to keep improving – the show has been better in recent weeks – until time runs out in October, with the idea that another network – large or small – will come calling, knowing that a viewership of one million a week is hard to find on cable. The only problem will be finding that network.

AMC recently agreed to a deal with Billy Corgan for a wrestling program. Spike and its parent network, Viacom, are out of play. NBC and Universal aren’t a fit since they have the rights to WWE. FOX and ABC could be interested, since they were in the hunt for WWE rights, but Raw and Smackdown bring in higher viewership numbers – and, by extension, advertising dollars – than Impact Wrestling.

TNA has time to figure something out but in the world of television, where deals are struck sometimes years in advance for new programming, it’ll be hard to find a solution in just a few months.

Eric Young Wins the TNA World Title, Probably Because He Has A Beard

TNA once again loosely borrowed a page from WWE’s book on last night’s Impact Wrestling, with Eric Young winning a gauntlet match in the opener to earn a World Title shot later in the night, where he would go on to defeat Magnus to win the belt.

The night also saw the return of Dixie Carter in her “Triple H heel authority figure” role, with Bully Ray playing the role of Daniel Bryan, telling her that it’s all about what he fans want, not what she wants.

Gunner v. James Storm Steel Cage Match Added to TNA Lockdown

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TNA will present Lockdown 2014 on Sunday, March 9th from the BankUnited Center on the campus of the University of Miami, live on pay-per-view. While the wrestling world has been focused on WWE and the WWE Network, TNA has added James Storm v. Gunner to the lineup. Below is the updated Lockdown card:

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match
Samoa Joe v. Magnus

Steel Cage Lethal Lockdown Match
Team MVP v. Team Dixie
(MVP is the only announced member of Team MVP, while Bobby Roode is the only announced member of Team Dixie.)

Steel Cage Match
Gunner v. James Storm

TNA Knockouts Championship Steel Cage Match
Gail Kim v. Madison Rayne

MVP Revealed as TNA’s Mystery Investor on Impact Wrestling

This week’s Impact Wrestling closed with an enraged Dixie Carter demanding to know who the mystery investor was. After the lights dimmed, MVP revealed himself to be the man behind it all.

While MVP isn’t a gigantic star, his arrival in TNA is a welcome one and feels fresh. He’s been off of American television for quite some time and he carries himself in a way that makes him feel important. Everyone knows who he is but he doesn’t feel like a WWE castoff or has-been. While I always make sure to temper my excitement over TNA because they have a strong track record of messing things like this up, I’m interested to see what happens next.

Magnus and Bobby Roode advance in TNA Title tournament

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Magnus defeated Samoa Joe in a Falls Count Anywhere match and Bobby Roode defeated James Storm in a “Florida Death Match” after Gunner threw in the towel on last night’s Turning Point episode of Impact Wrestling.

Magnus advances to face Kurt Angle in the semifinals, while Roode will take on Jeff Hardy. The semifinal matches won’t take place on next week’s taped edition of Impact, though, as Dixie Carter announced during last night’s show that we’ll get a Team Angle v. Team Roode 4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination tag match.

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