G5: Rey Mysterio, Jon Stewart, NZ venues, more

Rey Mysterio was officially released from his WWE contract last week, and has since signed with Mexico’s AAA where he will partner with Alberto El Patron (Alberto Del Rio) and Myzteziz (Mistico/Sin Cara). Will Mysterio’s signing lead to a boom for the Mexican lucha libre style?

Daily Show host Jon Stewart appeared on Raw in a segment with Seth Rollins after the two had exchanged shots in a number of online videos. How did Stewart stack up compared to some of WWE’s previous celebrity guests?

NZWPW’s home venue for more than 10 years, the He Toa Gym, held its final event for the promotion this evening. Which venues will the NZPWI staff pick as their favourites from around the country?

Join us as we discuss these, and more, talking points in this week’s Gimme Five.

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1. Rey Mysterio has been released from his WWE contract, and will head to Mexico’s AAA to team up with Alberto El Patron (Alberto Del Rio) and Myzteziz (Mistico/Sin Cara). Do you think Mysterio’s signing will bring new eyes to the Mexican wrestling scene and lead to a surge in popularity for lucha libre?

Blake:
It will definitely help add to the allure already accomplished by Lucha Underground, and I look forward to seeing exactly what does happen. The monopoly of WWE is certainly currently under threat.

Corey:
This will definitely bring new eyes to lucha libre. The team of El Patron, Myzteziz and Mysterio is like a who’s who of AAA guys who have made it into the States and have since made their homecoming.

Dion:
It’ll certainly get a few extra eyes on the promotion, but as we know with TNA, one or two A-list stars don’t tend to make many waves when it comes to television ratings or PPV buy rates.

Steve:
I think it’ll draw more eyes to it. At the very least, people will be curious to see what’ll happen. Can’t be anything but good for them, really.

David:
Using myself as the litmus test, this could be a massive boost to the lucha libre scene. Mysterio on his own is a big score but in combination with Alberto El Patron and the original Sin Cara, I’m suddenly much more motivated to find out what’s happening in AAA than I’ve been since TripleMania.

 

2. After trading insults in a series of online videos with Seth Rollins, Jon Stewart appeared on this week’s Raw. Is Stewart a good celebrity guest for WWE?

Blake:
Wrestling fans, especially when television personalities, always make for the best celebrity guests. I think that Stewart may have been the best since Hugh Jackman.

Corey:
I’d say he would be great as a celebrity guest. His segment with Rollins was great, he knew what was going on in the show and wasn’t there just to promote something.

Dion:
He absolutely does. I really enjoyed his involvement – aside from potentially making some of the talent look week by smack talking in his own way. He’d be welcome back on my screen any time!

Steve:
Jon Stewart is a fan and I don’t doubt he’ll go down as one of the greatest talk shows hosts. That combo makes him perfect for appearing on WWE. I’d be keen to see more of it.

David:
Jon Stewart was one of the best celebrity guests WWE has had in years, and his involvement isn’t necessarily over just yet either.

 

3. Global Force Wrestling President Jeff Jarrett announced plans for “live event touring” last week. Who would you like to see on the card for the promotion’s eventual debut?

Blake:
If Shinsuke Nakamura was on the card, I would be a very happy man.

Corey:
I’d like to see Impact Pro Wrestling represented.

Dion:
I don’t mind, as long as he, TNA, ROH, NJPW or someone become a strong number two in the United States. We’d all benefit by someone giving WWE a nudge.

Steve:
Travis Banks. I probably don’t need to explain any further, right?

David:
With the connections Jarrett has, I imagine AJ Styles and NJPW’s Bullet Club will be a pretty big part of the first GFW event. I’d be pretty stoked to see some of the IPW roster wind up on the undercard too.

 

4. The Armageddon Expo takes places in Christchurch this weekend, with Hamilton next weekend, and Wellington and Auckland later in the year. Will you be attending any of the expos? And, for past attendees, what has been your favourite Armageddon moment?

Blake:
I’ve only ever been to one Armageddon event, and unfortunately wasn’t able to see much. In saying that, it was good to see a few casual wrestling fans getting the chance to learn about the local product in IPW.

Corey:
I’ll be attending the Hamilton Armageddon. My favourite Armageddon moment was seeing Hacksaw Jim Duggan in an IPW ring at this past year’s Armageddon.

Dion:
I’ll more than likely hit the Auckland show. For me, whenever I had the opportunity to work with “The Deal” Dal Knox as a part of IPW – those were good times.

Steve:
I’ll be attending the Christchurch expo this weekend, in the role of IPW announcer. If I don’t stink up the joint, I imagine I’ll be attending the Wellington one and doing the same. With that in mind, I don’t think my favourite moment has happened yet. I’d be lying if my thoughts weren’t on hopefully getting to announce some wrestling-lovin’ celebrity somewhere down the track.

David:
I’ll be in Wellington and Auckland later this year. I’ve always enjoyed seeing some of the expo’s other guests getting caught up in the IPW action. Any time someone like Arrow’s Michael Rowe or a DJ Qualls gets in the ring it’s a pretty interesting cross-over scenario, and I think it benefits everyone involved.

 

5. Petone’s He Toa Gym, home to NZWPW since the promotion’s launch in 2003, held its final event tonight. What do you consider to be the definitive venue for New Zealand wrestling?

Blake:
This is a difficult question, mainly because I haven’t seen a lot of New Zealand wrestling outside of IPW. So personally, and slightly differently, I would call the home of New Zealand professional wrestling the Lynfield Recreation Centre. It’s a little bit out of the way and it isn’t flashy, but it does provide for an incredible grungy atmosphere.

Corey:
I personally consider Lynfeild Rec Centre to be the definitive New Zealand venue, mainly because it is where I saw my first IPW show and I haven’t missed a show at this venue ever since.

Dion:
The Lynfield Rec Centre. Home of probably more pro-wrestling events in the last decade than anyone else, it was also the home of the first NZPWI Invitational so I’ve got a soft spot for it. I probably enjoyed working at Westlake Boys High School more than anyone, though. That is a great venue.

Steve:
I don’t feel much of an attachment to locations. Usually for me it’s whatever is the easiest to get to. Which pretty much cancels out most of the Auckland locations. I always liked the Lower Hutt Town Hall for some reason. Always seemed like a big event. I’m sure to a lot of people, the closing of He Toa is the loss of a very iconic venue for NZ pro wrestling.

David:
As pivotal as He Toa has been, I’ve always thought of the Lower Hutt Town Hall as one of New Zealand’s most significant venues too. That was where NZWPW put on many of its biggest cards for a number of years. Further north, the Lynfield Recreation Centre is equally as significant.