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MAT TALK — THE STORIES BEHIND THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Posted March 2nd, 2019 by 1Wrestling News Team

Mat Talk – The Stories Behind This Week’s Headlines

By Don “The Predictor” Murphy (Twitter: @DonThePredictor)

March 2, 2019

We have a mixed bag of stories to touch on, with hopefully a little something for everybody. Here’s what’s on my mind this week:

Major League Wrestling (MLW) Presents “Intimidation Games” This Saturday Night from Chicago, IL: If you’re only watching WWE programming and looking for an alternative, I highly recommend checking this out. If you have the channel beIN SPORTS, a part of this show will air live at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. The main event of this ten-match card pits newly crowned MLW Heavyweight Champion “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, in his first title defense, against previous champion Low Ki inside of a steel cage. Other matches of note include The Hart Foundation (Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) defending the MLW Tag Team Championship against Maxwell J. Friedman (MJF) and Richard Holliday; and the Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr. and Ray Fenix) against Laredo Kid and Taurus. If you’ve never watched MLW, it’s a nice combination of up-and-coming talent from around the independent scene, old school throwbacks and the high-flying luchador style. The creative and production teams bring a wealth of wrestling writing and booking experience and it’s been one of the highlights of my weekly viewing. Plus, on some of the shows, you get the dulcet tones of one of the all-time great play-by-play announcers, Tony Schiavone. Finally, if you don’t get beIN SPORTS, not to worry. The show is posted on YouTube on Sunday afternoons around 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT.

Ring of Honor’s (ROH) Honor Club Streaming Service Now Available on FITE TV: FITE TV may just be one of wrestling’s best kept secrets. The app, available across all major IOS and Android platforms, features a wide array of wrestling content, including ROH, MLW and Impact wrestling, in addition to many independent events – streamed live and housed on demand. The platform is home to the Starrcast events, and is offering a WrestleMania week package, where for $120, you get access to over 20 shows taking place that week – a great bargain if you’re looking to expand your wrestling viewing horizon. And now, if you’re an Honor Club member, you can stream premium ROH content, including all of the live events, weekly television shows and PPVs, directly from the app. I’ve found it to be extremely user-friendly, with a good display screen and great connectivity. Definitely check it out!

Madison Rayne Departs ROH and Announces Return to Impact Wrestling: This was a bit of surprising story, which broke on Thursday, as Rayne had recently returned to ROH over the summer and was featured on this past week’s television show. As we know, she’s married to Impact announcer Josh Matthews, so the return company is not surprising. And frankly, while Impact has many challenges creatively and as an overall business, they do feature the women more prominently than ROH, which usually only includes a women’s match on television once every few weeks. So, it’s not that big of a loss for ROH and for Impact, they’re getting a solid hand – she’s not someone that’s going to have a “match of the year” performance, but she is someone with name value that they can slot in to programs with the women featured in higher on the card.

Around the WWE Universe: I’m going to try to cover off on all of the major happenings going on in the “E” this week in one update. I’ll have more to say in my Fastlane preview next week. Most important, many congratulations and good wishes to Roman Reigns, who announced on Raw that his leukemia is in remission. I’ll be interested to see how he’s slotted back into the storylines and if he’s somehow shoe-horned into the Universal Championship Match at WrestleMania. I’m also encouraged by creative switching out Kofi Kingston at Fastlane, meaning that he will likely get his big moment at WrestleMania. My only issue is that it may come at the expense of hurting the stock of a returning Kevin Owens. I might have put someone else in at Fastlane and saved Owens for later this year. But, if anyone can rebound, it’s KO. We also saw a surprise return, which is rare nowadays, when Batista attacked Ric Flair on Monday night before his 70th birthday celebration. All signs point to a heel Batista meeting a babyface Triple H at WrestleMania, which adds some “pop” to the show. I also think each has been assigned the correct role in this match, as Batista can play the “big-time Hollywood actor” meeting one of WWE’s legacy performers and the “father of NXT.” Finally, we continue to build toward the likely triple threat match between Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. We all know it’s coming, but I am intrigued with some of the twists and turns the storyline is taking as we head toward the payoff. We’ll see another chapter this coming Monday night, when Charlotte appears on Raw with the expectation of being crowned the Raw Women’s Champion. And, I’m not usually into “Twitter wars,” but the online battle between Lynch and Rousey has been highly entertaining and actually adds another dimension to the program.

Until Next Week!

Category: Wrestling.

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