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Daily Open Thread for Thursday, April 17, 2014

Here's your "Daily Open Thread" for Thursday, April 17, 2014. Throughout your day, come tell us whatever your heart desires, talk about this week's wrestling, or whatever else may be on your mind. Time spent here is guaranteed to be well worth it.

Here's your "Daily Open Thread" for Thursday, April 17, 2014: Come chat about whatever you would like. Come back all day and night for discussion of all things pro wrestling and beyond, some of the former but much more of the latter. Basically, this is the spot to yak about anything related to anything other than pro wrestling.

Don't forget to check out everything else we have going on here at Cageside today. Keep checking that front page for content throughout the day, but for now, scroll on down to the comments and talk about whatever your heart desires.

Hi, My Name is: Layla

This series seeks to evaluate the WWE roster through the lens of the fan. What do you love and what do you loathe about each wrestler? Up next: Layla

Today we check out former WWE Divas Champion, and Fandango's newest dance partner, Layla!

If this is your first read with this series, here's the deal: We are looking to hyper-critique an individual and try to pinpoint what they are great and terrible at doing. It's okay to pull out the snark card in your responses.

In fact, it's encouraged!

After enough people respond, I will organize what are the best and worst traits of Layla, and compile an evaluation post later in the day. Also, don't worry if you have the same answers as others, the point is to figure out a common denominator for the wrestler.

So the two questions for you are:

What one thing do you consistently love about Layla?

What one thing do you consistently loathe about Layla?

Poll
Rate Layla: 5 is the best, 1 is the worst.

  46 votes | Results

WWE NXT results, live open thread for April 17, 2014: Say it ain’t Bo

Complete results and open thread for tonight's (April 17, 2014) episode of WWE "NXT" from Full Sail Live in Florida, tonight at 9PM Eastern on WWE Network.

Here's a place to check results and comment along with the latest airing of WWE NXT in its regular Thursday night at 9PM Eastern time slot on WWE Network. We'll have our regular reactions post later, but we'll post match results here. More importantly, this gives you Cagesiders a dedicated place to rave and/or bitch about whatever goes down on one of the best shows WWE produces - as it airs!

Last week, Bayley got a win over Sasha Banks in one of the only non-squashes of the show. The soon-to-debut on Raw Adam Rose and Mojo Rawley coasted to victories, with Brodus Clay continuing to insert himself into the NXT title picture when he destoyed Rawley's opponent Sylvester Lefort post-match and called out Adrian Neville. Meanwhile, former champ Bo Dallas tried a page from the Daniel Bryan playbook when he called for his Bo-lievers to Occupy NXT. Not only did the fans not rally to his side, but General Manager John Bradshaw Layfield put him a match with Justin Gabriel. He prevailed, but was shaken by the lack of support.

This week, the company preview is teasing more on the downfall of the longest-reigning NXT champ in history, as Dallas deals with the shocking revelation that the NXT Zone aren't Bo-lievers! Also, a backstage interview last week set-up CJ Parker and The Great Khali. So, we've got that going for us...which isn't nice. Maybe we'll get some Sami Zayn, or even a new face or two?

Enjoy the show!

  • CJ Parker vs. The Great Khali

TNA Impact results, live blog for April 17, 2014: Handicapping Willow

Complete results and a live blog for tonight's (April 17, 2014) episode of TNA "Impact" from Orlando, Florida, featuring Eric Young's first show as heavyweight champion and Willow in a handicap match against Rockstar Spud and EC3.

TNA Impact comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (April 17, 2014) from Orlando, Florida, featuring Eric Young's first show as the heavyweight champion after he defeated Magnus last week to win the title.

Scheduled for the show: Willow takes on Rockstar Spud and EC3 in a handicap match, Bobby Roode issues an open challenge for a Tables match against anyone except Bully Ray, The Wolves vs. Bro Mans for the tag team titles, Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne in a Street Fight, and Tigre Uno vs. Sanada in match two of their best of three series for the X Division title.

To follow along as it all goes down come right back here at 9 p.m. ET to hang out with all your favorite folks from this neck of the woods when the show airs on Spike. Hanging out here is guaranteed to enhance your viewing experience.

Enjoy the evening, Cagesiders!

_________________________________

RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG

Rumor Round-Up (April 17, 2014): Renee Young to ESPN, Brock Lesnar WWE return date, more!

Why is someone looking to steal Renee Young from wrestling fans? Who might be in a squash match at Extreme Rules? When will Lesnar return? Possible answers to these questions in today's Rumor Round-Up.

For many fans, reading about rumors -- and trawling the sites that traffic in them -- has become as popular as watching the matches themselves. In this daily column, we take a look at the biggest rumors and weirdest stories being churned out by those pro wrestling "news" sites.

Important reminders: Rumors are "rumors" and not "news" for a reason, folks. That which has not been confirmed as legitimate news or fact will be made clear. Also, don't let these things ruin your day. It gets better.

Rumors and News Bits for the Day:

  • Rumor has it that the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN, is in active pursuit of the Worldwide Leader in Wrestling Fan Crushes, Renee Young (nee Paquette.) While this is just a rumor, it's certainly one that should be taken seriously considering that ESPN already has two former WWE staffers featured in prominent roles: Jonathan Coachman and Todd Grisham. For those unaware, Paquette was the host of Aftermath, a professional wrestling news show on The Score -- a Canadian sports network now called SportsNet 360 -- before joining the WWE following the sale of The Score to Rogers Communications and its name change.
  • Even with Bray Wyatt-John Cena, Tamina Snuka-Paige and several other matches already set for Extreme Rules, time permitting, Rusev will be crushing someone at the Special Event. Whether it will be a local enhancement talent -- better known as a "Ryback special" -- or an actual member of the WWE roster hasn't been made clear.
  • Last night's leaked Raw script essentially confirmed that Brock Lesnar won't be back until SummerSlam, where backstage chatter has him facing Daniel Bryan for the WWEWHC. The Official CsS over/under for amount of times Paul Heyman says "conquer the Streak" before that match stands at 1000.
  • HHH may be limited in the (SPOILER ALERT) Shield-Evolution match at Extreme Rules, assuming rumblings regarding why his leg was taped up are true. There are very few details on the extent or diagnosis of the injury other than it appeared to be muscle-based if the amount bruising involved is any indications. Given HHH's history with catastrophic quad injuries, this is likely something that the McMahons will take (pardon the pun) extreme precautions with.
  • Before its fate was left to a tournament, the No.1 Contendership for the Intercontinental title was going to be determined by a fatal-four way match on Monday's Raw. The four participants were going to be Cesaro, Big Show, Jack Swagger and a returning Christian, but with Christian was unable to return the single match was turned into a tournament. Both were going to be won by Cesaro regardless.
  • Less surprising than the sabbatical itself, AJ's absence was what opened up the path for Tamina Snuka to finally start her "Diesel" push with the No. 1 Contender's Divas Battle Royal victory on Main Event. Which means she's entered the "pleading with fans to vote by phone for Shawn Michaels to be reinstated" portion of the run.

If you have heard of any interesting rumors that you'd like to add, feel free to post them in the comments section below. Please remember, these are merely rumors. Try not to take them too seriously, just have fun with them.

Worst Gimmick Tournament Round of 32 Match: (1) Anonymous Raw GM vs. (8) Billy & Chuck

The Round of 32 of the Cageside Seats Worst Gimmick Tournament continues today with a match-up pitting number one seed Anonymous Raw GM against number eight seed Billy & Chuck. Come vote now!

The Round of 32 of the Cageside Seats Worst Gimmick Tournament continues today with a match-up pitting number one seed Anonymous Raw GM against number eight seed Billy & Chuck.

In order to cast your vote, leave a comment and in the subject line make sure you adhere to the guidelines as follows. Remember, voting closes at midnight CT:

To vote Anonymous Raw GM simply write: Vote - GM
To vote Billy & Chuck simply write: Vote - Billy & Chuck

The updated bracket (click to enlarge):

Csswgt-bracket-rd2

WWE Network Deep Cuts (April 16, 2014): Ultimate Warrior vs Mr. Perfect at MSG and more!

This week in WWE Network Deep Cuts, we pay tribute to the late Ultimate Warrior by highlighting a match against Mr. Perfect from Madison Square Garden, plus Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart, Ultimo Dragon vs Rey Mysterio Jr, and more!

It's week two of WWE Network Deep Cuts, the second chapter and second volume and second helping and second lunch and whatever else comes second. Next week will be the third wheel and third banana.

As always, if you want to talk about the rasslin on the Twitter, follow me there at @tapemachines. Let's get into the good stuff.

(Quick note: I said last week I'd include a crap match with the five gems, but I didn't feel like doing that this week, because I kind of forgot, and I didn't want to think of a notable crap match, but I'll probably include that eventually. I might have to make myself a list of those to include in the future, because that takes more thinking for me, and it's less fun than farting around looking for good matches.)

The Ultimate Warrior vs Mr. Perfect (WWE Old School, MSG, 3/19/90)

I wanted to include a Warrior match this week following his untimely passing last Wednesday, but the difficulty was finding a Warrior match that is underrated or overlooked, because frankly speaking, he wasn't a star between the bells, he was a star before and after the matches actually happened. He was almost all character. I'm not saying that as a negative, it just made this exact idea a little difficult. Warrior's best matches are all recognized, and his other matches are all just kind of about the same quality.

This one is damn solid, though, and fun because Hennig was the exact right guy to make Warrior look super exciting while also getting a decent wrestling match out of him. Just the start of this one is worth it, as Warrior's immediate criss-cross leads Perfect to do the same, which gets Hennig chopped and sent over the top to the floor, because that's just the kind of stuff he did. This was just prior to the WrestleMania VI match for Warrior, so obviously he stays strong, but Perfect looks like a capable threat, too, which was really his highest level in the WWF -- a top contender, used largely to make lesser opponents look better than they were. We got the same thing from Ted DiBiase, as I mentioned in one of the WrestleMania Top 100 posts.

This match also features the commentary trio of Gorilla Monsoon, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Hillbilly Jim, which is fun but less eventful than you might expect. I do love listening to Hayes. What a strange man he was.

Marty Jannetty vs Bam Bam Bigelow (WWF Monday Night Raw, 5/31/93)

In year one of Monday Night Raw, there were plenty of good TV matchups. This was one. Fresh off his surprise Intercontinental title win over Shawn Michaels two weeks prior, Jannetty and new manager Sensational Sherri squared off against Bam Bam Bigelow, accompanied by Sherri's ‘93 rival, Luna Vachon. The women have only a short scrap before the match gets underway, and surprisingly they don't fight the rest of the match, either. Neat!

Bigelow had a great feel for working with smaller guys like Bret Hart or Jannetty, because he was one of the few monsters who could actually keep pace with them, allowing them to work pretty much their normal style, only against a 400-pound dude, which made everyone look impressive. I should note now that I don't really care about DQs or countouts or non-finishes, I just want to see good rassle action. This one has a countout, but some good rassle action in the meantime. Jannetty was really a great worker.

Shawn Michaels vs Owen Hart (WWF In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage, 2/18/96)

These were two of the three best wrestlemen in the WWF at this time, with Bret No. 2 behind Michaels, and just ahead of Owen. I was a big Owen fan, but when I go back, there's just that little indescribable thing that separated Bret and Owen in the ring. Bret was that slight bit crisper, more expressive, more fluid and natural, at least in my view. To me, it's like comparing Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko. Both were tremendously skilled, but Benoit had that bit more that Malenko did not.

But this is an excellent match, and one that makes me wish we'd gotten more significant Shawn-Owen matches; in particular, I still desperately wish we'd seen a Shawn-Owen feud between Survivor Series ‘97 and WrestleMania XIV, as I've said before.

Shawn's WrestleMania XII title shot against Bret is on the line, giving this some serious stakes, and the 1996 WWF crowd in Louisville is filled almost exclusively with children, it seems, and some women who are wild about HBK. The match also plays on the old angle where Owen had knocked Michaels out cold with an enzuigiri kick, as Owen blasts him again and sends him tumbling to the ringside floor, but Shawn makes the comeback, and there's a nice finish sequence. Not an all-time classic, but a great match that kept Shawn hot going into Mania.

Ultimo Dragon vs Rey Mysterio Jr (WCW World War 3 1996)

Tony and Dusty are yapping about the nWo or whatever to start this match, and Tony goes, "Bob? The Brain's busy over here." Heenan replies, "I'm watching this match, is what I'm doing." Classic.

The Eddie Guerrero-Rey Mysterio Jr match at Halloween Havoc ‘97 is the best WCW cruiserweight match ever, but this one for me is a competitive runner-up. Both of these guys were at peak powers at this time, and they just straight up kill it. Watching Rey in 1996 compared to Rey in 2014 is a little sad. Over time, he became a more complete pro wrestler, and I think he was really phenomenal his first few years in WWE still, but he was truly spectacular in his real prime, before all the injuries that slowed him down, before the bulking up that slowed him down.

Ring announcer David Penzer says "A-Crown" instead of "J-Crown," and Dragon was still being called "The Ultimate Dragon," as this was before Mike Tenay did an exposé on why his name is Ultimo Dragon.

The match is mostly Dragon beating the living crap out of little Rey, who absorbs the asskicking admirably, as always, and gets one of his Rey Rallies. The action is non-stop, high-impact, and one of the finest examples of WCW's cruiserweight division. It's so good that even Tony and Dusty can manage to mostly just talk about the match.

Jerry Lynn vs Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy (ECW November to Remember 1999)

1999 was "my" year for ECW, as I didn't even have the show until the cable company accidentally put PASS Sports through in late 1997, and my first live ECW pay-per-view was Living Dangerously ‘99, which featured the first great RVD-Lynn match, followed by the relatively disappointing rematch at Hardcore Heaven ‘99. It was a fun transition year for ECW, as Taz had been pushed to the moon as the top star in the company, only to leave for the WWF late in the year. This was Taz's last major show for ECW, as he faced RVD for the TV title a couple of months after dropping the ECW title in Chicago in a three-way at Anarchy Rulz with Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka.

I still think Anarchy Rulz ‘99 is the best ECW show, but the rest of the ‘99 pay-per-views are good fun, scattershot and WE THREW OUT THE FORMAT!!! as they were. Lynn was hyped as a guy who was underutilized by WCW and the WWF, which I guess is true, but Lynn was what Lynn was. Not a talker, not a big guy, not really flashy, just a terrific professional wrestler between the ropes. He was like the opposite of the Ultimate Warrior, actually. Tajiri and Super Crazy never had less than a kickass match, and throwing the highly-capable Lynn -- DDP rib tape and all -- into the mix hurt nothing. This is hot and sexy ECW three-way action that is fun for the whole family. It was around this time that Tajiri was becoming my favorite wrestler in the world to watch, and Super Crazy wasn't terribly far behind.

The WCW cruiserweight division had faded badly by this point, the WWF's light heavyweight division was dead by mid-1998, and with these three guys and Little Guido, ECW was taking up some of the slack for cruiserweight-style action in the U.S., at least on the major stage. If you consider ECW to have been a major stage, which we did at the time, but seems kind of silly now, because it really wasn't. It was a farm system, and a great one. It was like a mix of 2004-05 Ring of Honor and modern day NXT, but with all the extra ECW fun of the nuts ass crowds and CATFIGHT CATFIGHT and lots of extreme curses and whatnot.

Go forth and watch, friends both young and old! Share your emotions and feelings!

Leprechaun: Origins poster

Hornswoggle's big break!

Remember when it was announced all the way back in March 2012 that WWE Studios was teaming with Lionsgate to reboot the Leprechaun movie series with Hornswoggle in a starring role?

Well, it's almost here.

Just last month, WWE released a special trailer for the flick:

Now, today, the official poster has been revealed:

20140411_leprechaun_642xvariable_large

The movie is scheduled to hit theaters in August. You're definitely going to see it, right?

Jim Ross goes off on the status of heels in WWE

Not sure what prompted this but more, please!

Late last night, former WWE play-by-play man Jim Ross took to Twitter and, for whatever reason, decided to absolutely go off on the status of heels in pro wrestling. We have no idea what prompted this, but considering the source, it's worth taking a look at what he had to say.

As our friend Scott Christ was quick to point out, this is why Batista is doing such a phenomenal job right now. He is nearly universally reviled and he plays that up to the fullest. He could care less about being cool. Once they turned him heel, he took all the qualities fans hate about him and turned them up to 11.

Now consider the rest of the roster and ask yourself if Ross has a point about too many heels trying to be too cool. That's not to say it can't work -- the nWo was the coolest heel stable in history, but they were full of cowards who cheated constantly -- but it goes against the old school mentality Ross works on.

Thoughts?