Thursday, January 28, 2021

WWE Royal Rumble 2021 Preview & Predictions

It's late January and that means it's time for another WWE Royal Rumble.  And the 2021 edition of the company's second-biggest PPV looks like......a show.

This Sunday is the real test of my WWE boycott.  In years past, even when I've skipped most of the WWE PPV calendar, the Rumble and WrestleMania were the ones I'd come back for.  Still not sure if that will happen in 2021 or not.  My son seems interested in watching, so I might pony up the ten bucks just for his sake.  But on paper this looks like yet another totally skippable show.  Two Rumble matches with only about half the field announced (remember when the company actually planned this stuff out ahead of time?), one solid title match, one that looks like the drizzling shits, and a women's tag match.  That's what we have so far.

Women's Tag Team Championship: Asuka & Charlotte Flair vs. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax

They need to send Nia back to developmental - she keeps hurting or coming dangerously close to hurting her opponents.  This is unsustainable.  She's been on the main roster four years now, she should be a solid pro by this point.  Anyway there's enough strong talent here to make this a good match.  I assume this Asuka/Charlotte thing is temporary and we'll see them fight again.  And hopefully this time Asuka actually gets to win.  But for now I see the heels taking back the belts.

Pick: ShayNia Jaxler

WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Goldberg

Fuck this company for trotting the 54-year-old WCW guy out for the thousandth time instead of building up a real WWE Title challenger (Was Keith Lee busy?).  Goldberg beating Bray Wyatt last year was the final straw for me as a WWE fan, and now they're going back to that well again.  Like, there's no way they're feeding Drew to him, right?  I know they built up The Fiend as an unbeatable monster for six months before killing his push dead, but with Drew it's been a full year.  I sincerely hope this is just to give Drew more credibility by decisively beating the old spear/jackhammer guy.  There's also the possibility that The Miz tries to cash in again.  Seriously, get rid of the Money in the Bank gimmick, it's so worn out and tiresome now.  

Pick: Drew retains.  He better fuckin' retain.  I swear to god if he doesn't retain....

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

NJPW New Beginning 2021 Preview & Predictions UPDATED

Welcome to another round of NJPW PPV Predictions, here at!

After a pretty fantastic two-night Tokyo Dome extravaganza, New Japan is back with the annual follow-up, the New Beginning tour.  We have some new champions defending their titles for the first time, we have a couple of grudge matches pitting legendary veterans against upstart heels, we have an epic G1 rematch, and then a bunch of multi-man tag bouts.  As always, I'll only be predicting the really important matches on this tour, so let's get started....  


Great O-Khan vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

After going 0 for 3 at the Dome, The Empire stable is looking to redeem themselves in a pair of matches against Tencozy.  First up we'll see the young monster heel O-Khan facing the veteran bruiser Tenzan, in a match where the loser can never again use the Mongolian Chop.  I assume this rather antiquated stip is meant to serve as a passing of the torch.  Although, O-Khan relies on the Mongolian Chop so heavily he'd probably be better off never using it again.  But he shouldn't lose here.  Give the young guy the win.

Pick: O-Khan

No Disqualification: Will Ospreay vs. Satoshi Kojima

Much more promising is this bout, with the magnificent Will Ospreay facing the scrappy Kojima in a no disqualification fight.  This will be Ospreay's first prominent singles win since his heel turn, and should get him back on track as a rising villain.  I expect he'll have a strong showing in the New Japan Cup, perhaps even win the whole thing.  A decisive win here will get the ball rolling.

Pick: Ospreay

Monday, January 25, 2021

Parents' Night In #52: The Gold Rush (1925), Charlie Chaplin's Masterpiece

Happy 2021 everybody!  Justin & Kelly are back to watch and review The Gold Rush, Charlie Chaplin's 1925 silent classic about a prospector trying to make his way in the frozen Yukon!  We'll discuss Chaplin's genius, his perfectionism, his many romantic liasons, and of course the arduous production of this film.  Oh, and we're starting a dry January, so this episode will be the first PNI ever to not feature booze.  Weird.  So join us for some wintery fun as we marvel at the comedic mastery of Charlie Chaplin!


Snippet of The Gold Rush score written by Charles Chaplin. 

Parody lyrics: 
Welcome to Parents' Night In 
Come have a seat 
Our show is Parents' Night In 
And it's a treat 

Our names are Kelly and Justin 
And we are your gracious hosts 

So please join us on YouTube 
And become a subscriber 
To our show which is Parents' Night In: Boozy Movie Reviews 

Subscribe to our channel to stay updated on future episodes, and don't forget to visit, follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook

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Disclaimer- Some contents are used for educational purpose under fair use. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The 2020 Pro Wrestling Year-End Awards

Welcome to the 7th Annual Pro Wrestling Year-End Awards, here at, where I celebrate the highs (and lows) of the year that was, inside the squared circle!

Here's an understatement for you: 2020 was a weird year.  A global pandemic changed a lot of big plans for everyone, and the wrestling industry was most certainly not immune (no pun intended).  For the first time ever, holding wrestling shows without an audience became commonplace, and not only did every company take a major financial hit from the loss of ticket sales, but the wrestlers between the ropes were forced to reckon with the lack of crowd noise.  It really made everyone realize how vital an energized crowd is to the creative success of a wrestling match.  Some companies adjusted better than others.  Some came up with convoluted high-concept technological solutions and passed them off as revolutionary (You know who you are, Vince).  Some companies are located in countries that actually took the pandemic seriously and thus were able to let fans back in much sooner.  Regardless, 2020 threw all sorts of wrenches into everyone's plans.  But that doesn't mean we didn't get some fine wrestling along the way, and that's why we're here talking awards.

Before I hand out pretend trophies though, there's one major change to my wrestling viewing habits I'd like to discuss.  In April of 2020 I walked away from WWE, after 34 years as a fan.  Just take a moment to let that fact sink in.  I've been watching this wrasslin' stuff since 1986.  And while the WWF/WWE, historically my favorite wrestling company for most of that time, has had its numerous highs and lows, I stuck with them through all of it, at least on some level.  During the Monday Night War I was Team WWF through and through; never once did my loyalty to their product waver, even as they were getting their asses kicked in the ratings every week.  Starting in 2004 I fell off watching the weekly shows religiously and ordering every PPV, prompted by JBL's out-of-nowhere main event push.  Starting in 2005 I reduced my PPV orders to the Big Four.  With the advent of Netflix carrying WWE DVDs in 2006 I began waiting a month to rent most of the PPVs on disc rather than shelling out the $50 a pop to watch them live.  But when the WWE Network launched in 2014 I was all in.  I subscribed the first week and never looked back.  No matter how bad or nonsensical the weekly RAWs and Smackdowns became, I still watched every PPV event.  Even as NJPW became my new favorite wrestling promotion, spending $9.99 a month to watch every new WWE PPV (plus tons of nostalgic content) was a no-brainer.  So now consider just how unwatchably horrible the WWE product would have to become for me to decide after seven years as a subscriber that ten bucks a month was too much to spend.  I haven't watched a WWE show in ten months, and based on what I've been reading about them, I haven't regretted missing any of it.  It is a true indictment of Vince's cosmic ineptitude that someone like me, literally WWE's most loyal demographic, has completely lost interest in his product, at a time when he has probably the most talented roster ever assembled.  And now, given how great NJPW is and how much fun I have watching AEW, it would take a major creative and tonal shift for me to revisit WWE on a consistent basis.  I actually considered re-subscribing for one month just to watch the Royal Rumble, as it's always an enjoyable event.  And then they booked Drew vs. Goldberg as the main event.  Wow, Vince.  Way to clearly signal, "No thanks, fan of three-plus decades, I don't want you to resume giving me your money."  Such a business genius.  

Anyway, even despite all this, I've attempted to be impartial with these awards and give WWE their due when I feel they've earned it.  So here goes.....

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

NJPW WrestleKingdom 15 Night 2 Review

WrestleKingdom 15 Night 2 was on par with Night 1 overall, but less even-keel, mostly thanks to the opening match being subpar and the main event being a masterpiece.

Things started off with the King of Pro-Wrestling Championship 4-Way match, with the four winners of the Rumble squaring off.  This match was an inoffensive 7 minutes but could've been so much more had they included Ishii, Sho, Suzuki, or even one or two of the Young Lions.  Who wants to see Chase Owens or Bad Luck Fale in there?  I get Yano being involved since he's last year's champion, but once you add him the match is limited to a comedy spectacle.  Which is exactly what happened.  Owens and Fale ended up hitting the Grenade Launcher on Bushi, incapacitating him, but then couldn't agree on who would pin him.  Enter Yano with a double low blow to knock both heels down, and pin Bushi.  Yano is the new KOPW Champion for the time being.  Like I said, this was inoffensive.  *3/4

Up next was the Jr. Tag Team Title match, with Desperado & Kanemaru defending against new team Ryusuke Taguchi and Master Wato.  This match exceeded my rather low expectations; it wasn't amazing but it was an entertaining 13-minute match.  It started out pretty fast and furious, almost as a showcase for Wato, but Taguchi dominated the later parts.  The heels worked over Taguchi's leg and he got most of the babyface heat.  Taguchi handled Desperado for a while before Kanemaru distracted the ref, allowing Desperado to land a punch and hit Pinche Loco to retain the belts.  Seems odd to have this new babyface team come up short, but oh well.  The Jr. Tag division needs help.  ***

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

NJPW WrestleKingdom 15 Night 1 Review

Welcome to the two-part WrestleKingdom 15 review, here at!

Well, the 2021 Tokyo Dome show is in the books, and like last year's, this was a pretty excellent double album.  In a COVID world, sadly the crowd and time limitations kept WrestleKingdom 15 from fully giving you that epic PPV of the Year-type feeling, but I'll be damned if NJPW didn't work really hard to live up to previous editions.  What we got were two three-hour shows with very little fat on the bone and multiple ****+ matches on each night.  Hard to complain much about that, even if I do miss WrestleKingdom being the single-night blowout of years past.  But let's get to the Night 1 matches.

After the usual forgettable pre-show Rumble to decide the KOPW 4-way on Night 2 (they missed opportunities here to elevate one or two youngins), the PPV got down to business in earnest with Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Phantasmo to determine the number-one contender for Taiji Ishimori's Jr. Heavyweight Title.  Takahashi won the 2020 Best of the Super Juniors tourney, while ELP won the Super-J Cup.  These two had an excellent high-energy opener that saw ELP go all out to show off his prodigious athleticism, while Takahashi seemed to be conserving a little something for Night 2.  ELP paid homage to Bullet Club leaders of old, hitting a Styles Clash and nearly getting off a One-Winged Angel.  Ultimately though, Takahashi stole this match by countering ELP's finish with a Rey Mysterio hurricanrana trap.  A damn fine opener.  ****