Some crazy news, courtesy of Sports Illustrated; The Undertaker, arguably the most WWE guy to ever WWE, has been booked for an appearance at the Starrcast II wrestling convention, happening during AEW Double or Nothing weekend. The inaugural Starrcast took place over All In weekend back in September, featuring all sorts of wrestlers and podcasts and pretty much everything you could want at a wrestling convention. But although he does some work for AEW, including hosting its Double or Nothing launch event earlier in the month, podcast host/insurance salesman/guy who apparently never sleeps Conrad Thompson made it a point in the article to mention that Starrcast is its own thing and not an AEW-branded event. Undertaker, real name Mark Callaway, started taking non-WWE bookings as of last week and this is his first big appearance that’s been announced to my knowledge.
While Starrcast II runs all weekend (May 23-26) leading up to Double or Nothing, The Undertaker appearance will only happen on May 25th. Bracelets go on sale for the convention this Friday, but they mentioned Platinum and Gold in particular so I guess you’ll need one of those to meet The Deadman. I don’t know how conventions work, being around people is gross. Visit the official Starrcast II site for more info if you can stomach being in crowds though, sounds like it’ll be a good time. Meanwhile I’m just going to sit back and try to process THE UNDERTAKER being part of a non-WWE event. That’s going to take some time to get used to.
Yesterday tickets for AEW’s first official event as a company, Double or Nothing, went on sale for the people who weren’t able to get a pre-sale code…and promptly sold out in FOUR minutes. AEW took a victory bow courtesy of Twitter, which is totally justified:
Double or Nothing takes place on May 25th live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV (the former home of WCW’s Halloween Havoc PPVs during the height of the Monday Night Wars). Here is the announced lineup thus far, according to a quick Google search:
Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho
SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, & Scorpio Sky) vs. CIMA & Two Partners from CIMA’s Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE) Promotion
Hangman Page vs. PAC
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae
It’s also rumored that The Young Bucks will take on The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) but that isn’t official yet as of this writing.
I’ll be honest: AEW hasn’t really done a lot to excite me; it’s got its segment of the pro wrestling fandom frothing at the mouth at the idea they’ll be competition to WWE but I want to see them actually put on a show first (All In, the proto-AEW show from September that also smashed all sorts of records, was fun and well-produced for what it’s worth). The fact they’ve got wrestling fans excited is a good thing, as is the fact they’ve got some big money backing which means more places to work, but I’m not about to call this thing a success until I see it with my own eyes. Fingers crossed though, I would love to be won over.
Last night on SmackDown it was announced that Kofi Kingston of The New Day would replace the injured Mustafa Ali in the WWE Championship match this Sunday at Elimination Chamber. Kingston was revealed at the beginning of the gauntlet match main event to decide who would enter the chamber last at the PPV. and lasted over an hour, instantly raising his profile and giving him a whole lot of momentum going into the title match. The gauntlet was won by Randy Orton with an RKO out of nowhere which was dumb but overall it was a great match. Seriously if you didn’t catch last night’s SmackDown I highly suggest you do. Of course I recapped it but it’s a match worth actually seeing with your own eyeballs. It’s easy to forget just HOW GOOD Kofi is when given the chance, and he reminded me for sure by the end of the episode.
Elimination Chamber takes place this Sunday and will air live on the WWE Network at 7pm/6pm Central. If you’re a glutton for punishment the Kickoff Show starts at 6pm/5pm Central.
Low-Ki is getting his rematch for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship he lost earlier in the month, with a catch; MLW announced earlier today that ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor, the man who ended Ki’s reign as champion at MLW Superfight, will defend against Ki at next month’s Intimidation Games event in an environment he’s all too familiar with: a STEEL CAGE. Lawlor/Low-Ki 2 joins Lucha Bros/Team AAA (Laredo Kid & Taurus) as the second match signed for the event, which takes place March 2nd from the Cicero Stadium in Cicero, IL. One hour of the event will be live on beIN Sports, airing at MLW’s new time slot (as of this weekend) at 9pm/8pm Central. This one has the potential to be a bloodbath and I am HERE FOR IT. Peep the full press release after the jump if you feel the urge.
Sad news to report as Pedro Morales, one of the biggest stars for the then-WWWF in the 70s and early-80s, has passed away at the age of 76. Born in Puerto Rico, Morales began wrestling in 1959 and in short order became one of the industry’s biggest stars, unseating Ivan Koloff to win the WWWF World Championship. Morales defended the title against all comers for over two years, selling out the famed Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions, before losing it to Stan Stasiak. Morales would go on to win the Intercontinental Championship two times and the Tag Team Championship with Bob Backlund one time, making him the company’s first-ever Triple Crown Champion. Morales would hang around the now-WWF into the 1980s, putting over new stars, until retiring from the ring in 1987. He transitioned over to color commentary for both the WWF and later WCW’s Spanish announce team and was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1995. Morales had been battling advanced Parkinson’s Disease in his final years.
Morales was before my time but I’ve always respected his contributions to pro wrestling and his legacy as the first man to win all three championships in the WWWF. Time to hit the Network and see what I’ve been missing. Rest in Peace.
Ring Of Honor have announced the main event for next month’s 17th Anniversary event in Las Vegas: Jay Lethal will defend the ROH World Championship against Matt Taven. Taven, leader of ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Kingdom, has long claimed to be the rightful champion, going so far as to create his own version of the championship to trot around, but now he finally gets his shot against the real thing. This does spoil ROH’s TV show a bit but that’s life, and since the company themselves decided to do it I’m not going to lose sleep spoiling it as well.
ROH: 17th Anniversary takes place on March 15th, live from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, NV. You can get your tickets by clicking here or watch it live via PPV or the company’s own Honor Club VIP service.
Also announced for the show is a Tag Team Championship contest as Jay & Mark Briscoe defend against Villain Enterprises’ PCO and Brody King (who are also entrants in the upcoming Crockett Cup tournament).
After what seems like forever, The Revival have finally struck main roster gold last night on RAW by defeating Bobby Roode & Chad Gable for the brand’s Tag Team Championship. The match started off slow with a dead crowd but picked up in short order, and by the end they had the crowd screaming and chanting ‘THIS IS AWESOME’ as each team did everything they could to put the other way. In the end The Revival countered a crossbody from Gable into the Shatter Machine and finally ascended to the top of the tag team mountain (for one brand at least).
After winning over fans in droves during their time on NXT. including two reigns as the Tag Team Champions, The Revival was drafted to RAW in 2017 but due to injuries and other factors have never reached the same heights. Congrats to The Revival on a title long deserved…and may you actually get a real reign with it instead of losing it in like a week or something.