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David Bixenspan


Is Sting ACTUALLY the Dumbest Babyface of All Time? A Fanfyte Investigation

Though Sting has, with his run in AEW, absolutely cemented his status as a living legend of professional wrestling, he’s still haunted by his past. A past that has routinely been the subject of ridicule for decades. What is this ghost that I speak of? His reputation for being an…

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Sting and the Four Horsemen

WRESTLING

Vince McMahon Navigated Controversy for Decades. What Changed in 2022?

What took so long? Seriously, what took so long? There have been so many WWE scandals — whether specific to Vince McMahon or more broadly — that counting them all becomes a ghoulish exercise with a quickness. That’s doubly so because it’s way too easy just to rattle off scandals where…

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Vince McMahon WWE Raw 2022

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Claudio Castagnoli’s Long Road to the Top of Professional Wrestling

Over 15 years ago, I remember sitting in the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in New York City as I took in ROH Final Battle 2006, the show built around Homicide finally winning the ROH Championship from Bryan Danielson. Yet on a show with such a huge main event…

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Claudio Castagnoli AEW Debut

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G1 Supercard May Outshine Forbidden Door. That Would Be Weird.

When AEW/NJPW Forbidden Door was announced for four weeks after AEW Double or Nothing, completely throwing off AEW’s quarterly pay-per-view schedule, it made a certain kind of sense. After all, if there was any show that you would do that for, it would be the first AEW vs. NJPW super…

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ROH NJPW G1 Supercard

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For Good or Ill, Shoot Promos Will Always Have a Place in Wrestling

Pro wrestling is, of course, not like other genres of entertainment, with there being numerous differences, large and small, that dictate what does and doesn’t work within its confines. Since pro wrestling is, within the body of its programming, portrayed as a legitimate sporting event, it’s not quite “real enough”…

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CM Punk wwe pipebomb

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Alright Guys, We Get It, You Love Bret Hart

It started well enough. When CM Punk returned to the ring against Darby Allin at AEW All Out 2021, eagle-eyed fans noticed that the start of the match was exactly the same as the increasingly legendary Bret Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid match that aired on the WWF’s flagship Monday Night Raw…

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CM Punk FTR AEW

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AEW Is Finally Back in Vegas, and Boy Have Things Changed

Double or Nothing, AEW’s annual Memorial Day weekend pay-per-view event, was supposed to be in Las Vegas every year, just as it was for their debut show in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic changed that, with the 2020 (in front of wrestlers serving as the crowd) and 2021 (in front of…

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Jon Moxley Double or Nothing 2019 AEW

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How WWE Reacts When Workers Leave the Job

Last Monday night, the wrestling world was blindsided by the news, announced during Monday Night Raw, that Sasha Banks and Naomi, the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, had walked out on the show over creative issues. And though the underlying story was big enough, it blew up even bigger because of…

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sasha Banks Naomi Team BAD

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WWE’s Behavior of Refusing to Let Wrestlers Quit Their Jobs has a Long, Storied History

It’s a story that has become increasingly familiar: that a WWE wrestler, theoretically an independent contractor, asks for a release from their WWE talent contract and has the request denied. This time? The wrestler in question is Roderick Strong, who fits the bill of a wrestler who they’d otherwise consider…

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Rick Rude WWF contract

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We Obtained a “Bid Book” That WWE Sends to Potential WrestleMania Host Cities

It’s been almost eight years since the world first got a glimpse at a Super Bowl “bid book,” the document that, in painstaking detail, lays out what the NFL requires of a host city for its annual championship game. Minnesota’s Star-Tribune newspaper broke the story, which most memorably noted that there…

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WrestleMania 37 Set

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The Kliq’s Legacy Is Their Bond, Not Their Backstage Politics

When hardcore wrestling fans were introduced to the concept of Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman, and Triple H having consolidated their power in the WWF as “The Kliq,” it was not in the most flattering of terms. Editor’s note: The Kliq was initially spelled “The Clique,” until…

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The Kliq Triple H Kevin Nash Shawn Michaels Scott Hall Sean Waltman

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After AEW Revolution 2022, NXT’s Adam Cole is Officially Dead

When Shawn Michaels moved to Orlando to take an active role in WWE’s NXT developmental brand in early 2018, there was a noticeable shift in the style of the big matches. The first TakeOver special of the Michaels era was in New Orleans during WrestleMania weekend, and was headlined by…

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Adam Cole Adam Page AEW

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The Fever Dream That Was the First Six Weeks of WWF Shotgun Saturday Night

To most wrestling fans who would recognize it, Shotgun Saturday Night signifies the domestic version of the WWF’s first-run syndicated show that aired from 1997 to 1999. If you didn’t know it by that name, you may have seen it as Shotgun Challenge, Shotgun, WWF New York, 11 Alive, or, at different times, both the…

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Shotgun Saturday Night Triple H Undertaker Tombstone

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Did THAT MJF Promo Make You Uncomfortable? Good. It Was Supposed To.

On Wednesday night, at the AEW Dynamite and Rampage taping in Bridgeport, Connecticut, MJF did something different. “[I]n their hands, they’re holding rolls of quarters,” he said (transcription h/t CageMatch.net user Rocky7), describing his then-new football teammates he expected to become his new friends while in his tweens. “And all…

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MJF promo aew

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Reexamining Shawn Michaels Losing His Smile, 25 Years Later

February 13, 1997’s Thursday Raw Thursday special  has, in the past 25 years, become synonymous with one thing: Shawn Michaels, in the process of giving a speech where he vacated the WWF Championship, told the viewing audience that, in addition to sustaining a career-threatening knee injury, he had “lost [his] smile.”…

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Shawn Michaels Lost My Smile Feature

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GCW Took Its Place in Wrestling History at the Hammerstein Ballroom

On May 19, 1915, a purported “international wrestling tournament” commenced at the Manhattan Opera House in New York City. Over the next year or so, such tournaments would feature future legends of the pioneer era such as Wladek Zbyszko, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Roller, The Masked Marvel, and Ed “Strangler” Lewis.…

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The Wrld on GCW crowd

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Just How Much of an Asshole WAS the Hulk Hogan Character, Anyway?

30 years ago this week, what’s now World Wrestling Entertainment held the fifth annual Royal Rumble in Albany, New York. While the 1992 event is best known for Ric Flair’s marathon performance en route to capturing his first World Wrestling Federation Championship, it arguably wasn’t even the biggest news coming…

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Hulk Hogan Sid Justice WWF

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15 Years Ago, Samoa Joe and Kenta Kobashi Had The Best U.S. Indie Match Ever

Going into the week of Japanese wrestling legend Kenta Kobashi’s lone set of matches of American soil, expectations weren’t actually that high. Sure, Kobashi was just seven months removed from the end of his two year reign with Pro Wrestling NOAH’s top prize, the GHC Heavyweight Championship, and he had…

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WRESTLING

What’s the Legacy of Evolve Wrestling After Being Bought Out by WWE?

Two weeks ago, something that had been rumored for months became a reality: Reportedly, WWE has purchased Evolve Wrestling, the domestic promotion that had been a developmental affiliate the same way that PROGRESS and ICW in the U.K. were, from Sal Hamaoui, who bankrolled the promotion since its inception in…

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WRESTLING

The Owen Hart Police Report Is a Chilling Reminder of WWE’s History with Worker Safety

Earlier this month, when the coronavirus pandemic and the safety measures designed to slow its spread started threatening not just pro wrestling, but the live event business in general, WWE’s public stance was curious. The situation did escalate quickly, but WWE’s initial defiance in the face of the novel coronavirus…

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