G5: MITB, Bound For Glory, MMA crossovers, more

Money in the Bank is just days away, with two massive ladder matches on the card. Which one are the Gimme Five panel most interested in, and why?

TNA surprised many with its announcement Bound For Glory, the company’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year, will be held in Tokyo this October. Is this bold move the right one for TNA?

And, with the UFC holding its first Fight Night event in New Zealand tomorrow, we take a look at our favourite crossover stars in the worlds of pro-wrestling and mixed martial arts.

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1. A second ladder match for Money in the Bank has been announced, with seven men competing for the traditional Money in the Bank contract in addition to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match. Which of the two matches has got you most interested?

Dion:
Definitely the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. The contract match will no doubt have as much, if not more, excitement but the vacant title is where it’s at. I can’t wait!

David:
The title match is very interesting because of what’s riding on it, obviously, but I think the traditional Money in the Bank ladder match is going to the be one that steals the show on Monday. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose especially should be capable of pulling off a classic.

Blake:
As always seems to be the case, the ladder match on the undercard has me way more excited. It’s the contract ladder match that’s going to have all the unique high spots.

Stevie:
Definitely the traditional Money in the Bank match. There’s nothing more thrilling than watching men in tights fight over a briefcase. Also, it gives you a possible indication of who WWE is setting up as their next star. I’d say definite indication but, y’know… Damien Sandow.

Craig:
The world title match because I think the winner of the traditional match will cash in on the night. That being Seth Rollins.

Luke:
I’m more excited for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match because it’s for the belt – having the actual title on the line makes it way more exciting. You’re guaranteed a new champion!

 

2. TNA will hold this year’s Bound For Glory pay-per-view in Tokyo, Japan. Is this a good decision, or a massive gamble for TNA?

Dion:
It’s a really, really interesting move. I don’t think it makes much of a difference, either way. It’s the PPV audience, not the live audience, that is more important for their success. Hopefully it’ll go really well for them.

David:
Korakuen Hall isn’t a massive venue, so TNA should be able to fill it easily enough, but the main issue to consider here is the time difference. For Bound For Glory to air live in the US at the same time as other pay-per-views, it’d have to be held at about 9am Japanese time. I’m eagerly awaiting more information though – it’s the most excited I’ve been about a TNA event in a long time!

Blake:
I think TNA need to figure out how to succeed at home first. However, if this means crossovers with other promotions (see Wrestle-1), then this might be quite enjoyable.

Stevie:
It is all about the PPV audience. Apparently their event is on the same day as another wrestling iPPV filming in the same building. Hopefully they don’t run into any clashes.

Craig:
Great decision. The Japanese adore America and TNA will be treated like rock stars.

Luke:
I’d say it’s a massive gamble because taking what’s considered the WrestleMania of TNA to a whole other country, without the support of Japan’s biggest promotion, NJPW, is a huge risk. It’s a huge gamble on PPV because of the time difference between Japan and the US, and considering the state of their own business and the Japanese crowd. To be fair it’s going to be very interesting to see how well it does in terms of both attendance and from a TV point-of-view.

 

3. Vickie Guerrero’s contract with WWE is up, and Vickie made her final appearance on Raw this week in a match with Stephanie McMahon. What has been your favourite moment in Vickie’s seven-year WWE career?

Dion:
Seeing her take off as a legitimate antagonist was fantastic. She clearly only got her job because she was Mrs Guerrero, and she struggled to find her feet. But those two words were all it took to see her finding her place.

David:
I liked Vickie best when she was managing/dating Dolph Ziggler, and mentoring Kaitlyn on NXT season three.

Blake:
I think the most interesting time I’ve ever seen Vickie was actually her last night. I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but somehow she turned from one of the most hated people in wrestling to one of the most loved in just a matter of moments… well played, Stephanie.

Stevie:
She struggled for a long time but then became one of the greatest and most hated authority figures around. For some reason I really enjoyed her run mentoring Kaitlyn as well.

Craig:
I don’t have a favourite moment. I think her ability though to get heat from “Excuse Me” is sensational and I cannot think of anyone who’s been able to elicit heat like her. I admire her too. I feel uncomfortable when women are ridiculed for weight or looks in the name of entertainment but she’s obviously got tough skin.

Luke:
Vickie’s most memorable moment is when she legitimately forgot to be there in the “Custody of Dominic Ladder Match” at SummerSlam 2005. My favourite moment is her storyline with Edge though because it benefitted his career as well as made her a huge heel, setting the scene for the rest of her WWE run.

 

4. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) holds its first event in New Zealand this Saturday night. MMA and pro-wrestling have long overlapped – who’s your favourite competitor to have made the transition from the ring to the octagon, or vica versa?

Dion:
It’s very hard to look past Brock Lesnar. To cross over and become the UFC Heavyweight Champion? That’s bad ass.

David:
Brock Lesnar’s largely the reason I developed more than a casual interest in UFC, so he gets my vote, but an honourable mention goes to NJPW’s Kazushi Sakuraba. Sakuraba became known as the “Gracie Hunter” for his multiple MMA victories over the jiu-jitsu pioneers, and did it all in the name of professional wrestling.

Blake:
Before I answer this, I’m just going to quickly point out that I hate MMA. Regardless, the only wrestler I really respect who has crossed over is the man who conquered The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, Brock Lesnar.

Stevie:
I can’t say anyone other than Brock. Nobody’s had more success than him crossing over. I loved Ken Shamrock back in the day but there’s nobody that has the presence of Lesnar.

Craig:
Um, Brock Lesnar? His WWE entrance music has been my ringtone for the last two years.

Luke:
Ken Shamrock was, at one stage, the world’s most dangerous man, and he made a very difficult transition from MMA to pro-wrestling at a time when MMA wasn’t that popular. It was a huge transition for someone that was used to “real” fighting, and he made a good career out of it and had a huge feud with The Rock. If he’d stuck around for longer, who knows how big he could have become.

 

5. We’re officially halfway through 2014 after this week. What are your leading contenders for match of the year, both in New Zealand and internationally?

David:
The Shield vs. Evolution at Extreme Rules was pretty wild, so that’s got to be up there when it comes to WWE. As for New Zealand, IPW billed James Shaw vs. Travis Banks as “The Ultimate Match” back in March and it certainly lived up to the title.

Blake:
In New Zealand, it has got to be the IPW Tag Team Championship ladder match that saw TnT defeat the Agents of Change. In terms of international, I’m not entirely sure… maybe Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro at NXT Arrival? Or Sami Zayn versus Tyler Breeze and Tyson Kidd in triple threat action? Or maybe Adrian Neville vs. Tyson Kidd in either of their NXT Championship matches? Pretty much any good main event from NXT.

Stevie:
I’m going to say almost every match from the two live NXT specials. Anybody that’s not keeping up with this show really should be. The in-ring talent is exceptional. I wish I’d seen more NZ wrestling this year. I’m going to go with a personal favourite and go with Deadshot joining Travis Banks at Wellington Armageddon. Cross and Liger were no match for the DC super-villain, and it’s a match that nobody else is ever going to see.

Craig:
There’s only one match and it’s purely for historic purposes. Undertaker vs. Lesnar at WM30. It’s the only match in 2014 that will be remembered 20 years from now.

Luke:
The Ultimate Match, followed really closely by the New Heights tag team ladder match when it comes to New Zealand. As for the US, Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H at WrestleMania XXX was one of the best, old-school matches we’ve seen in a long time, and the result was perfect.