Happy Fourth of July everyone in the United States. To our international friends Happy Saturday. I hope you all are doing well I just want to talk about some things.

WWE had their Beast in the East special this morning on the WWE Network. I did commentary with Greg this morning about the two-hour house show from Tokyo. Overall I thought the show was very well done. Mainly because of its dressed down nature. It didn’t have 20,000 things being promoted at once except for the wrestling. Every match, all the talent worked hard and tried to please the Japanese audience who enjoyed the more athletic style. These elements can be seen in the awesome opening match between Adrian Neville versus Chris Jericho. These two really tore the house giving a great back and forth contest for fans both on the WWE Network and Tokyo. The part-time rockstar Jericho turned it up a notch to bring out some old favorites that he doesn’t really do in his normal WWE appearances at 43 years old. The most notable of which is the return of the Lion Tamer. Every match had talent really showcase their skills that don’t get focused on normal television programming.

Even the ladies of WWE’s main roster were more physical and athletic in the contest for the Divas Title. Although I don’t think that match meshed as well as the woman wanted. They had a good showing. I would’ve enjoyed an NXT women’s match on the show as well but given it’s a house show in Tokyo I can understand why.

Speaking of NXT, words cannot describe the Finn Balor Kevin Owens match. There was great back and forth between the two forces culminating in an awesome moment. These two really left it all out in the ring. This combined with the news of the next NXT Takeover will take place just before SummerSlam in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This will no doubt be the largest crowd the NXT roster will perform in front of as the building holds about 13,000 fans. This will be a true test of the viability of the developmental brand going out on its own. If it does well this could be the start of high change in WWE’s business model going forward. It’s definitely starting to feel like WWE and NXT are starting to separate into two different entities like Disney and Miramax back in the day. Where Vince is in charge of the sports entertainment side of the brand where NXT is more of the Indy label of the big conglomerate.

I honestly think that this should have closed the show as the John Cena/Dolph versus Barrett and Kane wasn’t bad but after that epic encounter it really felt like letting air out of the balloon a little bit. But it was truly a house show that happened to be broadcast on Japanese television. That’s what they used to do in the days where WWF house shows that were shown on Prism, MSG and NESN back in the day where it wasn’t really about any pomp and circumstance it was more about just two hours of fun wrestling.

The return of Brock Lesnar to Tokyo was definitely triumphant. I felt sorry for Kofi during the match.

I should mention that Michael Cole and Byron Saxton on commentary was phenomenal. Much like the minimal production helped the performers really showcase their talent. The announcers were great as well with nothing to promote every five seconds they did what announcers should do and really got over the characters in the story and the matches. I was very surprised that WWE mentioned New Japan, Dragon Gate and FMW on commentary when mentioning the past of superstars in the country. Those who hate Michael Cole should really watch this broadcast and realize that it’s not’s the announcer it’s the machine he’s forced to promote.

I hope WWE does more of these live event specials. For WWE’s business it’s good because it creates more live wrestling content for the WWE Network which seems to be the main draw of many subscribers the streaming service. And they start showing domestic house shows in the states it may increase live event attendance for the company overall. Because people may think if it’s televised something cool may happen and I want to be there. It all depends on how successful this was in WWE’s eyes. Given that social media was abuzz at 5:30 AM Eastern this morning I say they may have a hit.

Paragon Pro Wrestling debuted on Pop TV this morning at 6 AM. And it continued the trend of more independent wrestling companies getting television deals nationwide. I watched the show and I like the old-school presentation of it. I don’t really want to say too much about it and judge it until I see a few more episodes. But overall, as I’ve said in the past having all the companies have television means you can really make a living and make a name outside of the WWE bubble now.

And the other news story of the day is that the NWA has launched their Classics streaming service. I played with it a little bit in the last hour or so. And there are some real gems. Stuff like Harley Race versus Andre the Giant, Terry Taylor versus Ric Flair, and many other matches from the Paul Bosch collection are already on the service. They also have classic interviews with names you probably heard of but never have seen on footage. The NWA sent out a press release saying they will be adding new content constantly to the service so I don’t want to review it just yet. But it’s nice to have access to more footage of these classic names and matches that a lot of us didn’t know existed. I will see if it is worth the $8. 99 a month they are pricing it at.

 

That’s all I have to say right now. Keep checking PW Pop.com because you never know what’s coming around the corner.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.