February 2017 Month in Review
Hello friends. It’s been a trying February in the Rear View Reviews office. Various things broke. Bernard tried kicking them but they took ages to work properly again. We tried turning it off and then back on again. We made sure everything was plugged in at the wall. Sometimes websites can be total arseholes. Anyway, it’s all fixed and hopefully the site is running properly and we never need to speak of this again.
So how was the month in wrestling? It’s been an interesting one, albeit not quite as madcap as January. Perhaps because I attended less live shows, only venturing out twice. Once to the Fixxion to see Fight Club Pro, in a show that still hasn’t seen the light of day on VOD, and once to the Electric Ballroom to see Progress, making use of my season ticket and getting drunk with the lads.
In the ring we were treated to a load of quality grappling. Over in Ireland we kicked things off with OTT and Martina’s two-part Gaff Party. The events were greeted with strong crowd support and were highlighted by Matt Riddle’s bro-tastic Irish debut and the return of Mark Haskins after four months on the shelf. Haskins’ first match back, in typical fashion for him, was an absolute blinder against Mark Andrews. I pretty much had it pegged as my favourite of the month until New Japan came along again.
Speaking of which New Beginning in Osaka was a wonderful show from top to bottom. The top end was almost as strong as Wrestle Kingdom. Headlined by Naito vs. Elgin in what Meltzer had pegged as a five star match up. Not wanting to take away anything from Hiromu vs. Dragon Lee or Shibata vs. Ospreay, those were as good a top three matches as you’ll see all year…unless you’ve already seen Wrestle Kingdom. My God.
ICW got back onto my radar by sorting their booking out and delivering a stellar event in Square Go. Trent Seven capturing gold meant that British Strong Style had completed their domination of BritWres. Tyler is WWE UK champion. Trent champion of Scotland and Dunne the reigning Progress champion. The only major belt not in their hands is the Rev Pro one, currently around the waist of Katsuyori Shibata.
Speaking of Progress, they finished the month strongly with an excellent Ballroom show. Travis Banks got to have his big coming out party in singles and Mark Andrews had a blinder with Shane Strickland.
Over in WWE-land the E prepare for WrestleMania. Which means one of their big stop-offs on route; Elimination Chamber. 16-time world champ John Cena ended up losing his title to Bray Wyatt, leading into the implosion of the Wyatt Family. Quite why Randy would sit ideally by to allow all this to happen is anyone’s guess. His main aim seemed to start before Bray even came close to winning the title. It just doesn’t make sense.
Show of the Month:
- NJPW New Beginning in Osaka
- Martina’s Gaff Party (Dublin)
- Progress Chapter 44: Old Man Yells At Cloud
Wrestler of the Month:
- Mark Haskins
- Mark Andrews
- Kazuchika Okada
Match of the Month:
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Michael Elgin (Osaka, Feb 11)
- Mark Haskins vs. Mark Andrews (Dublin, Feb 4)
- Kento Miyahara vs. Bodyguard (Osaka, Feb 26)
Wrestlers Chatted to while Intoxicated:
- Mark Haskins
- Travis Banks
- Mark Haskins (again)
- Jimmy Havoc
- James Davis
- Jordan Devlin
- TK Cooper
- Dahlia Black
- Damon Moser
As with last month feel free to use 411Mania, and Kayfabe Today, for news because we’re not doing news here. Also head over to Voices of Wrestling to hear my podcast with Oli Court: the Brit Wres Roundtable. It’s almost weekly and delves into detail on show reviews. Maybe you’ll hear me call unscrupulous promoters names for their bullshit reasons for running ‘charity’ tournaments. Before you head off we do have sections beyond my reviews. In the “books” tab you can find my co-conspirator Chris Boyle’s work on graphic novels. He’ll point you towards some interesting stuff. Under the gaming tag you can read Peter Jones work on video games. It’s a little off the beaten path, much like my wrestling coverage. Under TV you can read Jon Rolnik’s thoughts on “Boo!…It’s Taboo!” There was more content sitting under these tabs but the crash destroyed it all.
Speaking of content, if you want to write for Rear View Reviews drop me a message either through email (arnfury at yahoo dot com) or via Twitter where I basically live (@ArnoldFurious). If you’d like to support us without writing there’s an Amazon link. If you click on it and then buy stuff we get a cut of Amazon’s profit. So do that. It doesn’t effect you and it helps us out. If you’ve got AdBlock running you won’t be able to see it but it’s ok to disable AdBlock on this site because we don’t have any pop-ups.
Thanks for reading. I have an action packed March lined up for you, including a trip to Germany for wXw 16 Carat and reviews of WWE, New Japan and Progress events, among other things. I really hope March goes smoothly because as soon as it’s over we jump right into ‘Mania season. If you’re going to the wrestling, I’ll see you there. If you’re not you can magically be there by using your imagination and this review site. Or video on demand. Whatever floats your boat.
March 5 2017