Weekend Preview 1/8/16

Far and away the biggest show of this unusually quiet weekend in fight sports is a non-televised WWE Live! event featuring BROCK LESNAR tonight in Houston. It’s part of Lesnar’s new contract which calls for a handful more dates than his last contract did, including some select house shows throughout the year.

Lesnar is slated to face Sheamus. There’s a good chance there won’t be a lot to this match, as Lesnar can kind of get away with walkthroughs at many events (well…walkthroughs for him at least, maybe not for the other guy), but, even still, this show probably could have been rated even higher because Brock Lesnar’s presence literally changes the mood of any building he’s in. Brock Lesnar is big fight feel.

For lack of having anything more to say on the matter, I welcome you to enjoy the above photo of a thrilled-looking, pre-chest tattoo Lesnar that I took at a house show when I was fifteen (never before published).

It’s hard not to rag on TNA Wrestling.

The long-held “no. 2” company just made its debut on a new television network that nobody in America is really sure they get. They’re papering houses and promoting Billy Corgan like he’s Hulk Hogan. And now they have a pay-per-view event coming up which they didn’t promote. Literally, it’s tonight and no one knows about it.

Furthermore, when I was putting together this week’s Weekend Events Map, I entered in two dates for TNA Wrestling….both titled “One Night Only.” TNA listed the events as being on Friday January 8, 2016 and Friday January 9, 2016.

This is all just a sample of what makes it so difficult.

TNA has a lot of very good wrestlers. I respect their wrestlers. I think EC3 is a good, solid wrestling character and champion. Kurt Angle is one of the best ever. If a little more quietly, Gail Kim is, too. But as much as Matt Hardy will jump on Twitter to claim the company is buying him houses and shit, it just never seems like things are really going very well for them. And smelling death isn’t a sense only those “in the business” possess.

Finally, I wanted to make mention of the Ring of Honor TV taping in Concord, NC on Saturday. Ring of Honor is always a fun time and this card has some great-looking matches including Roderick Strong vs. Masada, War Machine vs. The All Night Express, The Young Bucks vs. ACH & Matt Sydal, and Frankie Kazarian vs. Alex Shelley.

For New England-based fans, there’s one other attraction — and a legitimate cheering interest. Though his opponent hasn’t been named, local legend and trainer-to-the-stars Brian Fury is entered into the company’s “Top Prospect Tournament 2016” which kicks off at this event. Fury has been capable of hanging with anyone in the “big leagues” for many years now. With his big break just not having come, he’s instead built up his name as a trainer and legacy to the revered Killer Kowalski School of Pro Wrestling in North Andover, MA. His students just in the last few years include Sasha Banks, Donovan Dijack, and Biff Busick.

It’s by no means the only reason it’d be cool if he won, but there are certainly a lot of very compelling trainer-trainee storylines out there should Fury take this tournament.

I’ve been watching Brian Fury on the local scene for a decade now. He has always stood out. In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to interview and work on videos with wrestlers from several different independent companies. Fury was actually the first to ever humor me. He’s a real pro. I hope he enziguris some guys heads off and brings the trophy up north.