Tuesday, February 27, 2018

AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett Will Shine Together At WrestleMania 34

In 2002, one man gave professional wrestling fans something they were yearning for, an alternative product. During this time, he introduced the world to his phenomenal dance partner. After WCW folded in 2001, Jeff Jarrett along with his dad Jerry opened a new promotion, Total Nonstop Action also known as TNA. The man who would win over everyone’s hearts for the next decade, the Phenomenal AJ Styles. Fast forward to 2018, both men will have a big spot at WrestleMania weekend.

Jarrett will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame two nights before WrestleMania 34. This induction caught many wrestling fans by surprise. Remember there was that rumor going around that he held Vince McMahon up for a lot of money. Recently on the Something to Wrestle With Podcast, Bruce Prichard debunked that rumor, stating that Jarrett just wanted to get what was owed to him. There is no doubt that he had a stellar career in WWE and WCW. Some of his accomplishments are as follows, 4-time WCW Champion, 3-time WCW United States Champion, 6-time Intercontinental Champion, European Champion, and Tag Team Champion. 

During the early days of TNA, Jarrett’s number one dance partner was Styles. Styles defeated Jarrett and Raven in a triple threat match in 2003 to win his first NWA Heavyweight World Championship. AJ Styles would go on to become one of the names most associated with TNA. In December 2013, Styles left the company, ending his 12-year run. Styles would become a global megastar in 2014 and 2015 before finally arriving in the WWE at the Royal Rumble in 2016. 

Styles won his first WWE Championship in September 2016 and held it until January 2017. He would regain the title in November when he defeated Jinder Mahal in the U.K. Styles became the first superstar to win the title on Smackdown since 2003 and the first ever superstar to win the title outside of North America. 

As things come full circle, borrowing a loss at Fastlane or an injury, AJ Styles will headline his first WrestleMania for the Smackdown brand. The same year, Jeff Jarrett will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. You could not have written a better ending for Jarrett. This man gave wrestling fans an alternative product to watch on television every week, while the man who helped him build the company will defend the WWE Championship. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Wrestling For The Culture Starring Londyn Ali

I had the honor of catching up with the brand new RWA Women's Champion, Londyn Ali. 

BW: How long have you been wrestling?
LA: I began my training on June 13th, 2016. However, I didn’t make my official debut until April 29th, 2017.

BW: When did you decide to get in the business?
LA: I decided to get into the wrestling business after a lot of negative events occurred in my life. I wasn’t in a good place at that time. Wrestling was something that always made me happy so I went for it.

BW: What is your first memory of professional wrestling?
LA: My first memory of wrestling was back in 2002. It was Victoria vs Trish Stratus in a street fight at Survivor Series. I believe I was around six years old at the time. However, seeing so much action and emotions from the crowd and the wrestlers ....just made me fall in love.

BW: Who has been some of your mentors in the business?
LA: Definitely, my coach/trainer, Brandon K. He’s always made sure I was doing what I was supposed to do. He gives the best advice and he’s been there for me since day one.

BW: What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
LA: My biggest accomplishment so far in my early career was winning the RWA Women’s Championship. It’s the first time I won any title and it was my FIRST night with the promotion.

BW: Book your WrestleMania moment
LA: I never really thought about that ... but if I had to say it would definitely be against Charlotte Flair in a singles match. I would like for it to be somewhere hot like California, Arizona, or Florida so it could be outside.

Seth Rollins Returning to Mega-Stardom

On Sunday, March 29, 2015, one man made history. He became the first man to cash in his Money In The Bank contract at WrestleMania to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. His name, Seth Rollins. Rollins interrupted the main event that featured Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. That night, he set the world on fire. A night where everyone believed Reigns would finally prove himself as the Big Dawg of the WWE and fulfill his destiny, instead it became the night that Rollins buying in was all worth it. On this night, the Chosen One proved that he was a star.

For the next several months, we witnessed Seth Rollins carry the WWE. There never a time you could deny his in-ring work, but his mic work as well as his ability to make you hate him skyrocketed. 3 years ago, I wrote a piece titled, Seth Rollins WWE's Next Megastar. Rollins was everywhere. Then, he got injured.

After being out for several months, even missing WrestleMania 32, Rollins returned and seemed to pick up where he left off when he attacked Roman Reigns after Reigns successfully defended his WWE Championship. The next night on Raw, Rollins came out and was greeted with welcome back cheers and immediately turned on the audience. Rollins would go on to defeat Reigns to regain the title at Money in the Bank. Within minutes, his former Shield-brother, Dean Ambrose cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase on him and took the title from him. Karma is a... you know! 

At SummerSlam, Rollins took on Finn Balor to crown the first-ever WWE Universal champion. Rollins came up short, but after Balor was injured, Rollins had another shot two weeks later in a fatal four-way match. When it seemed as if he would be handed the title from his mentor, Triple H, The Game swerved everyone and hit Rollins with the Pedigree and gift wrapped the Universal Title to Kevin Owens. 

Rollins would go to WrestleMania and defeat Triple H. He would be in a program with Samoa Joe and eventually reunite with Dean Ambrose and the two would win the WWE Tag Team Championship. The two would be joined by Reigns in November as the Shield reunited, but then Ambrose got hurt. 

Not allowing Ambrose injury to hold him back, we saw Seth Freaking Rollins return to what we know he can be. Rollins wrestled for over an hour in a gauntlet match, beating both Reigns and John Cena. He also showed out in the Elimination Chamber match. Recently on Raw, he defeated the Miz,  and then Balor came out to interrupt his celebration and in an attempt to show up Rollins, he beat the Miz. Rollins, who did not appreciate what Balor did, later challenged The Miz to an Intercontinental title match at WrestleMania. Without a doubt, this is the most entertaining Rollins has been since his program with Triple H a year ago. Has Seth Freaking Rollins returned to the guy who I called a megastar three years ago? I believe so. With that being said, I believe Rollins will become the brand new Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Wrestling For The Culture: February 25th

Black History Month comes to a close this week, but do not worry, Wrestling For the Culture will continue throughout the rest of the year.

Velveteen Dream Calls Out Indy Wrestlers

The Velveteen Dream takes to Twitter to call out Independent wrestlers. If you watched the last Tough Enough, you may remember how much Patrick Clark (Dream's shoot name) expressed his love for WWE. This is obvious that this is a work. But how cool would it be if this led a program with him and his former tag team partner on the indies, Lio Rush?

Bianca Belair Had Eventful Week

The EST of NXT, Bianca Belair took to Twitter after Mandy Rose whipped her hair during her match on Monday Night Raw. The two took a few jabs at each over with one of the most powerful weapon you can have, the keyboard. Belair alluded to the fact that Rose has some fake body parts after Rose said that Belair's hair clip was fake. This would be better if we could see this play out in a match sooner. Either way, I'm sure Vince McMahon loves it. Why? Cause there's competition!

Later in the week, she was reportedly injured in a match she had with Ember Moon this past week. She took the Eclipse and landed awkwardly. She kicked out at 2, but the referee counted to three and ended the match. Triple H did note that she would be appearing in an upcoming house show and would be facing the champ.

Ricochet Makes His Debut

Ricochet made his long-anticipated debut and earned a win over Buddy Murphy. For those wondering if WWE would water him down, he used his signature 630 senton to win the match.

Wrestling For The Culture's Friends Victorius at NYWC Psycho Circus

Willow Nightingale and Brandon Watts have both been featured in Wrestling For the Culture. The two superstars were victorious this weekend at New York's Wrestling Connection. Nightingale defeated Mike Mondo to retain the NYWC Starlet Championship while Watts defeated his former tag team partner, Randy Summers. Watts declared on Twitter that he NYWC is now his company.

Bobby Lashley Returns to the WWE

Bobby Lashley and WWE have agreed to terms. Hard to see Lashley showing up at WrestleMania although stranger things have happened.

Black Excellence Shines Bright at MCW Pro Wrestling
(Credit: Docta D)

Credit Docta D on Instagram

If you are a fan of independent wrestling on the east coast, chances are you know Docta D, Daryl Johnson. Johnson texted me and let me know a few wrestlers of color were victorious very well at MCW Pro Wrestling this past weekend as Black Wallstreet defeated the Bomb Squad in a Hollywood Street Fight, Isaiah Frazier teamed with Money Greene to defeat The Dawgs and MCW Pro Wrestling Women's Champion Sahara Seven retained her title in a victory over Rachael Ellering.

Renegade Wrestling Alliance Crowns Two Black Champions

Londyn Ali defeated Holidead and Nina Monet to become the new RWA Women's Champion.

The Rev Ron Hunt and his partner Thomas Mathis won their second RWA tag team titles. The two known as TNew Circle defeated The Fold (Jimmy Cicero & Akuma) via DQ.

Wrestling For The Culture Starring Brandon Watts

I had the opportunity to catch up with the Shred God Brandon Watts. The first time I saw Watts wrestler was in the WSU Queen and King Tournament where he teamed with Kiera Hogan. The two were eliminated in the semi-finals. If you look at him, you will see why his nickname is the Shred God.

BW: How long have you been wrestling?
Watts: I have been wrestling for 5 years BW: As a wrestler of color, what are some of the hardships you have faced in the business? Watts: As a wrestler of color, I personally have not had any hardships in the business and I would really like to avoid that but you just never know. It’s a shame how society can take steps backward sometimes
BW: What has been the biggest accomplishment in your career so far? Watts: My biggest accomplishment ultimately didn’t happen yet because I’m not signed to a Major company making a living. BUT I will say working for Beyond Wrestling, Evolve in 2017/2018 is def getting me steps closer

BW: How long did it take you to find your style in the ring?
Watts: I still feel as if I’m finding myself out and my in-ring style but it honestly wasn’t hard because of my size haha. I’m 5’8 there’s no way you’d see me coming out and squashing people like I’m Braun Strowman
BW: How would you Book your WrestleMania moment? Watts: Booking my own WrestleMania moment would be opening the show by winning money in the bank, later on in the show winning the IC Title, also winning the US AND Tag titles, THEN cashing in my money in the bank briefcase to win the WWE title to close out mania

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Bobby Lashley is going to the WWE

He’s back!!! As reported by Daily DDT, former ECW Champion, Bobby Lashley is on his way back to the WWE. Hard to believe that Lashley was released from his contract 10 years ago. What will be his role in the WWE? Rumor and innuendo is that he will be in a big feud with Brock Lesnar if  Lesnar decides to stay with the company. Either way, what a way to close out Black History Month! Can Lashley finished what he started in late 2007 and actually win the WWE Champjonship? Only time will tell. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WWE Elimination Chamber Predictions

Here are my official predicitons for the WWE Elimination Chamber. Check out my If I'm Booking the Elimination Chamber piece by clicking here.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match
Titus Worldwide vs The Bar (C)

Since Dana Brooke has joined Titus Worldwide, they have seen more wins than losses. I wrote in my If I'm Booking article that I would book Titus Worldwide to win. As bad as I want to pick them, I have to go with The Bar. These guys have been together longer and they know how to hold on to their gold when it is on the line.

Winner: The Bar

Asuka vs Nia Jax 
(If Nia Jax wins, she is entered in the Raw Women's Championship Match at WrestleMania)

Nia Jax put a beat down on Asuka on the go-home show of Monday Night Raw. As long as I have been watching wrestling, that teaches me that Asuka will leave Las Vegas with the victory. I do believe Nia Jax will find her way into the Raw Women's Title match, mainly because I really believe that she will go to Asuka will go to Smackdown Live.

Winner: Asuka

Woken Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are the match made in heaven. This is the feud that both men need. With that being said, I believe Matt will win and set up for a rubber match at WrestleMania.

Winner: Matt Hardy

Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship 
Alexa Bliss (C) vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose vs Mickie James

Alexa Bliss will defend her WWE Raw Women's Title in the first-ever Women's Elimination Chamber Match. A year ago, Bliss lost her title at this same pay-per-view to Naomi. She would regain the title after Naomi vacated it due to injury. Bliss walked into WrestleMania as champion, but did not leave champion. This year, she has an opportunity at redemption. There are many stories that can be told in this match. I believe there are a lot of distractions that Bliss will be able to take advantage of and hold on to her Raw Women's Championship. On a side-note, I am prediciting that we will get a Sasha Banks vs Bayley feud out of this match.

Winner: Alexa Bliss

Ronda Rousey Signs WWE Contract 

Ronda Rousey will sign her contract at the Elimination Chamber. My official prediction is that she will set up her WrestleMania match. 

Elimination Chamber Match to Decide Who Challenges Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34
The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns vs John Cena vs Braun Strowman vs Elias vs Finn Balor

This is the first time the Elimination Chamber will have seven competitors. The Match will start with three. Roman Reigns was the last man thrown out at the Royal Rumble. While there will be seven men coming with one goal, the Big Dawg has something to prove. In the end, he will stand supreme and main event WrestleMania for a fourth year in a row.

Winner: Roman Reigns

2018 Pay-Per-View record

If I'm Booking: 2018 WWE Elimination Chamber

Back with another series, If I'm Booking, this time I'm booking the WWE Elimination Chamber. This year we will see two Elimination Chamber matches. One with women, and the other with seven competitors. So, here is how I would book the show.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match
Titus Worldwide vs The Bar (C)

Since Dana Brooke has joined Titus Worldwide, they have seen more wins than losses. Now is the time for those wins to count. According to her numbers, they have a great chance at winning the tag titles at the Elimination Chamber. Why wait? It is Black History Month, cliche? So what, I'm putting the belts on Titus Worldwide. 

Asuka vs Nia Jax 
(If Nia Jax wins, she is entered in the Raw Women's Championship Match at WrestleMania)

Asuka has been running wild over the entire women's division, but she is not unstoppable. Should her first loss come at the hands of Nia Jax at the Elimination Chamber, yes, but with controversy. Let's not have Asuka lose to by pinfall or submission, instead she loses by countout. Nia Jax is now officially in the match. Now you have Charlotte go on Smackdown and proclaim she is the best women's wrestler in the world and Asuka surprises her and reminds her that she never answered the question at the Royal Rumble. Here, she declares that she will challenge Charlotte at WrestleMania. 

Woken Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt

The story these two have been telling has been very interesting. But it cannot end here. Elimination Chamber is where Matt Hardy goes from WOKEN to BROKEN! This will lead the two having a special stipulation at WrestleMania. 

Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship 
Alexa Bliss (C) vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose vs Mickie James

Alexa Bliss will defend her WWE Raw Women's Title in the first-ever Women's Elimination Chamber Match. There are many stories that can be told in this match. For some reason, Bliss has been trying to align with Mickie James. Sasha Banks and Bayley have been at taking jabs at each other. While they are best friends, it looks like they are going to turn on each other. Last, You have Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose, two members of Absolution who will be vying for the same thing, the Raw Women's Title. So what would I do? This night must set the tone for WrestleMania. Rose and Deville would not touch each other much, until Rose rolls up Deville to eliminate her. As soon as she is eliminated, Bayley hits her with a Bayley to Belly to eliminate her. While Banks and James battle, Bliss and Bayley would battle each other. Eventually Banks forces James to tap to the Bank Statement. Down to the final three, Sasha and Bayley team up to beat up on Bliss and as Banks celebrates, Bayley catches her off guard with a Bayley to Belly and eliminates her. An angry Banks beats down on Bayley and then leaves the ring, leaving Bliss to pick up the pieces and win the match. While she is talking, here comes Nia Jax with a brutal attack and she provlaims that she will go to WrestleMania to face Bliss and promises to take the title. 

Ronda Rousey Signs WWE Contract 

Ronda Rousey will sign her contract at the Elimination Chamber. Now everyone knows you cannot have a contract signing in the WWE without physcial contact. During the signing Stephanie McMahon comes out and plays a video of WrestleMania 31. McMahon lets Rousey know that she is now her boss. Rousey then challenges McMahon and Triple H to a tag match at WrestleMania but does not reveal her partner until the next night on Monday Night Raw.

Elimination Chamber Match to Decide Who Challenges Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34
The Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns vs John Cena vs Braun Strowman vs Elias vs Finn Balor

This is the first time the Elimination Chamber will have seven competitors. The Match will start with three. Rather than bore you with the eliminations the way I may have with the women, I will skip to the finish. It comes down to Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns and John Cena. Cena and Reigns decide to work together to get rid of Strowman, but they fail. Strowman eliminates Cena leaving Reigns. Now, the smarks believe we will see Reigns vs Lesnar at WrestleMania, so lets tease them. Roman kicks out of everything that Strowman throws at him. Roman then hits Strowman with a Superman punch but Strowman kicks out. In the end, Strowman hits a powerslam to win the match. The monster among men punches his ticket to WrestleMania 34.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Wrestling For The Culture: February 20th

Titus O'Neil is Just Great

I promise you I am not biased, but Titus O'Neil continues to shine in the community. This week, he treated over 2,000 children and their families to see the hit movie, Black Panther. His work in the community makes it really hard to root against him. It will be nice to see him wear WWE gold one day. Perhaps an Intercontinental Championship run. While he is not doing it for any special pushes, it would be nice for kids to say, The WWE IC champion gave me free tickets to see Black Panther.

Brandi Rhodes Advances

Since it just aired in many local markets, I will include Brandi Rhodes' victory over Karen Q in the Women of Honor Championship Tournament. The match was good, but that finish though! Rhodes' pretended to be hurt and when Q came closer to her, she rolled her up for the 1-2-3. It will be interesting to see if she makes an adjustment in the next round. It will be hard to believe someone will get caught with the same trick in the next round.

Reality of Wrestling's Ladies Night Out

Booker T's Reality of Wrestling held an All-Women's Invitational where three African-American participated.  Angela, Sahara, and Kiera Hogan each proved how far African-American has come. While it is an accomplishment to have women's wrestling showcased, to see three African-American women on one show is amazing. Check out the full show by clicking the video above.

Rich Swann and WWE Part Ways

After a recent domestic incident a couple of months ago, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion, Rich Swann has not been seen on television since. Last week, WWE and Swann mutually parted ways.  Since it was a mutual parting, this leaves the question, will he return? We know in wrestling, there is saying, never say never. I believe that is the same in this case. If Swann goes around the world and makes himself a household name, it will be hard to believe that he will not return to the WWE. Only time will tell.

Follow me @BrianHWaters and Subscribe to the @WrestlingWrealm on YouTube.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wrestling For The Culture Starring Kiera Hogan

In this edition of Wrestling for the Culture, I had an opportunity of catching up with Impact Wrestling's newest Knockout, Kiera Hogan. The first time I interviewed (Click here to read) she was preparing for her WSU debut. Since then she won the Spirit Title in just her third match for the company. She recently signed with Impact Wrestling where she defeated Knockouts Champion, Laurel Van Ness in her first match. 

BW: What are some of the challenges you face as a woman of color? 

KH: I feel like as a woman of color I face many challenges in the business and outside of the business. Limited opportunities are the big one for me. I feel like I have to work and show twice as hard to get that opportunity sometimes because of my skin color and it's really disappointing to think about that but when I do accomplish a goal dealing with that it feels great! 

BW: Take us back to the moment you got an offer from Impact Wrestling. What were your thoughts?
KH: Excitement was my initial reaction, but of course, the nerves set in! This was a huge opportunity for me because I have only been wrestling for a little under 3 years but I know I was ready to take it! With this given opportunity I knew it was going to come with challenges. Still being fairly new and having to prove that 
I have worked really hard to be given such a task.
BW: We talked last year and you discussed how your dad and brother were an influence on you becoming a fan. What was their reaction when you made your debut?
KH: My brother thought I got signed with WWE! lol But they were really excited. My brother put me all over his social media saying what a great big sister I was and how I inspire him to follow his dreams and that's all I've ever wanted, was to inspire others. My dad has pretty much supported me from the beginning always talking about me to his coworkers and friends so of course he was excited and proud as well.

The Moment Kiera Hogan won the WSU Spirit Title (Hasmat3 Photography)

BW: Let’s go back to the night you won the WSU Spirit Title. When did it process that you were a Champion?
KH: After the 1-2-3! I couldn't believe it! My first major title! That was a great night!

BW: You won the title during Black History Month. The next night, Naomi won the WWE Smackdown Live Women’s Title. What did it mean to be in the same conversation as another black woman as y’all were able to sprinkle your black girl magic that weekend?-
KH: Amazing, That we won titles the same weekend was magical! It was black girl magical! It means so much to represent for my community and my people in such a big way and I hope to continue to do just that! I aspire to inspire!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Wrestling For The Culture: February 11th

We Have Been worked

Last week in Wrestling For The Culture, I lead with Booker T calling out Corey Graves. I wasn't the only one who thought this was a shoot. Forbes and SB Nation to name a few reported this. This came after Booker called him out on his podcast. Well this week, Booker and Graves laughed at all of us. In this day and age, you rarely see anyone work the internet this way. As my co-host of the Wrestling Wrealm, The Real Dwayne Allen says, never trust anyone who loves the wrestling business. 

NAACP Recognizes Titus O'Neil

The Tampa Chapter of the National Association of Advancement for Color People recognized Titus O'Neil for his community service. O'Neil received the Reverent Hosea Williams Award. He has been known for his charity work, including helping student-athletes get into college and assisting with after-school programs. O'Neil has been consistent since his arrival to the WWE. Even Vince McMahon praises his work. 

King Regains The Gold  

Kenny King defeated Silas Young to regain the Ring of Honor Television Championship this past weekend in Atlanta. King had previously lost the title to Young in a fatal-four way match at Final Battle. 

Banking on a Heel Turn?

Sasha Banks and her "best friend" Bayley have been subtweeting each other this week. Recently on Raw, Bayley asked Banks for a few tips in defeating Asuka since Banks came close the week prior, but Banks refused to give her friend any pointers. Bayley reminded her that she beat her before and that if Banks could beat Asuka, so could she. The rumor is that Banks will turn heel and face Bayley at WrestleMania. This would be a good match to see, however, I have said before that I would love to see this in reverse. Let's see Bayley turn heel instead. We know that Banks is a natural heel and we have seen it before, but we  Bayley could use a refresher. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, 
Follow me on Twitter @BrianHWaters and follow my show @WrestlingWrealm. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wrestling For the Culture Starring Willow Nightingale

In this edition of Wrestling For the Culture, I had the honor of catching up with the two-time NYWC Starlet Champion, Willow Nightingale.

BW:  As a woman of color, what are some of the challenges you face in the wrestling business?

WN: I’m actually very glad to say that my experiences as a woman of color in the wrestling business have been more positive than negative. Obviously, I’ve had my fair share of “fans” saying cruel things to me regarding my race, specifically targeting my hair—something I take so much pride in. Another concern not just for me, but all wrestlers of color are that you do a lot of traveling in this business. Sometimes crowds or town people of wherever you’re traveling may give you judging looks or be more hostile towards you just based on your ethnicity. Fortunately, I’ve never had any big confrontation arise because of this, but I’ve definitely had times where I’ve felt judged negatively based solely on my race. I take a lot of pride and comfort in the sisterhood of wrestling though and that really carries me through any of these struggles.

BW: After your knee surgery you worked your back to the ring and won gold. What would you say was the biggest life lessons you learned?

WN: The biggest life lesson I learned from getting back in the ring after knee surgery is that setback and struggles only make your rewards even sweeter. After knee surgery, I was really not myself. Not only was I physically and emotionally in pain, but I was extremely irritable and a lot of days I was just miserable to be around. Coming back from that just reinvigorated my love and passion for professional wrestling and everything I've worked for and accomplished since then has just meant so much more to me.

BW: You bring energy to every promotion you wrestle at, and the fans love you. What was the best thing a fan said to you?

WN: One time at a show during intermission, a woman came up to me and said that because her 8-year-old biracial daughter saw me wearing my hair out naturally in the ring, that she now wants to stop straightening her hair and start embracing her curls. That made my heart so so happy. Hands down the best thing I've heard from a fan.

BW: Describe the feeling you had when you first won the NYWC Scarlet Championship and compare it to the second time you won it.

WN: The first time I won the NYWC Starlet Championship was in February 2016. That really meant a lot to me because I think in a way, it was the first time I realized that other people have faith in me. At the time, I lacked confidence as a performer and I think the validation of winning that championship really helped me find comfort in who I am and my expression of it. When I won the Starlet Championship just a year later in February 2017, I was even more proud of myself. It was a sign to me that everything was going to be okay. While I was out injured, there was a lot of time I thought that maybe wrestling wasn't for me or that this was a sign from the universe to stop, but my heart couldn't accept that. I'm so happy I didn't accept that. Like I mentioned before, the setbacks just make the rewards sweeter.

BW: How would you Book your WrestleMania moment?

WN: My dream WrestleMania moment would take place at Madison Square Garden. Beyond that, this is actually a really hard question haha. Throughout my time as a wrestling fan, I've adored and looked up to so many women wrestlers, so narrowing this down to just one dream opponent is so tough. As a kid, my absolute favorite wrestler was Trish Stratus though, so I'm gonna have to go with her as my dream WrestleMania opponent. No gimmicks, just a straight-up, one on one, singles match. My 10-year-old self (or any age really) would jump up and down crying joyous tears.

Make sure you follow Willow Nightingale on Twitter @w_nightingale_.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Wrestling For The Culture: February 4, 2018

Booker T Calls out Corey Graves

In his recent podcast, Booker T called out Corey Graves and says that it was his fault that the five-time WCW champion was removed from the Raw commentary team. Booker said that the front office did not want him to break Graves' neck. You can listen to the entire episode here.
A lot of fans are on Twitter ripping Booker saying that he sucked and that was the real reason. I am not going to say that commentary is my favorite thing from Booker T, but I always enjoyed his insight. While it is great to see Coach back, it sucks that Graves did cost Booker some money. Booker T called Corey Graves out, challenging him to a fight at WrestleMania. The fact that Graves had a career ending injury lets us know this will not happen, however it would be a great site to see.

The Girl on Fire Makes an Impact
Kiera Hogan made her long-anticipated debut on Impact Wrestling. Hogan defeated the Impact Wrestling Women's Champion, Laurel Van Ness, becoming the first woman to pin her since June of 2016. Hogan impressed management so much that she has earned her title shot this week on #ImpactOnPOP.  This is just the beginning for the Girl on Fire. She has made a name for herself quickly wrestling in promotions such Booker T's Reality of Wrestling, Shine, and Shimmer

ACH Adds More Gold

Photo Cred. Basil Mahmud

ACH made history Saturday, February 3rd when he became the first African American to ever win the AAW Pro Heavyweight Championship.

Triple H Puts Over Ricochet

Perhaps the hottest free agent signing in 2018, Ricochet made his in-ring debut last week, and Triple H could not be more excited. He said feel free to discuss so I will. We have heard the stories of Vince McMahon getting excited about certain recruits. This is one of those times where The Game himself is excited about. I expect to see Ricochet pushed to the moon, but only time will tell.

Lashley vs Lesnar?

This is a feud I can get behind. Brock Lesnar vs Bobby Lashley would be very hard hitting and would feel as real as it gets. Right now its just the sheets talking as far as Lashley signing with the WWE and being put in a program with Lesnar, but one can dream right?

Thanks for checking out this edition of Wrestling For The Culture, feel free to submit your ideas to me on Twitter or my email, mrmaineventbdub@gmail.com